Syrian regime forces have retaken eastern Ghouta, Russian military says

Katie Ramirez
April 13, 2018

The remaining rebels in Syria's battered Eastern Ghouta have surrendered their heavy weapons and their leader has left the enclave for the north, a war monitor said on Thursday.

Russian military police have also been deployed in the Syrian town of Douma as of Thursday, RIA news agency reported, citing Russia's defense ministry.

The global chemical weapons watchdog will meet Monday to discuss an alleged poison gas attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma, officials and sources said. But its fighters and their families have been seen leaving Douma on buses and have been photographed arriving at refugee camps in northern Syria.

The head of the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, which represents the country's military mission in Syria, called the seizure of Douma "a landmark event" in Syria's history.

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"In order to prevent provocations, ensure security, enforce the law and organize aid to local population, units of Russian military police have started their work in the city of Douma".

The Russian defence ministry today said that the Syrian regime flag is flying in the town of Douma, which it said signified government forces have taken full control over Eastern Ghouta.

Ghouta was the opposition's main bastion on the edge of the capital and suffered a five-year regime siege before the ferocious assault that Moscow and Damascus began in February.

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