Syria Intensifies Operation in Douma, Makes More Gains

Syria Intensifies Operation in Douma, Makes More Gains

Syrian State media reported on Saturday that the soldiers pushed deeper into Douma from western and southern fronts during their ground offensive.

Eight civilians were killed in shelling early Saturday, while three people needed amputations. Militants of the Jaysh al-Islam group attacked the positions of governmental forces, resumed mortar and missiles attacks at Damascus. A spokesman for his office, however, said an operation against Tel Rifat might not be needed. "We can't even count all the wounded" Firas told AFP.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said that medical staff they supported inside Douma had reported chlorine use.

"There are still a number of people who are besieged and trapped in the area", he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York, "We remind all parties that it is a violation of global law to target civilian infrastructure, to target civilians".

However, negotiations failed this week and air strikes resumed on Friday.

It said mortar shells hit several suburbs of the capital and killed at four people and wounded more than a dozen.

The evacuation agreements followed a Russia-backed government offensive in February and March that killed hundreds of people in Eastern Ghouta. The rebel group denied targeting the residential area.

According to AFP, the regime has used a combination of a fierce military onslaught and two negotiated withdrawals to empty out 95 percent of the enclave.

Smokes rise after Assad regime forces carried out air strikes in eastern Ghouta's Douma town in Damascus, Syria on April 07, 2018.

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Under Russian-brokered deals, two rebel-held pockets of Eastern Ghouta were evacuated last month that saw more than 46,000 rebels and civilians bussed to opposition-held Idlib province in the northwest.

Tens of thousands also fled into government-controlled territory through safe passages opened by Russian Federation and Syrian troops.

A total of 2,963 militants and their families evacuated Douma in three batches over the past few days under a deal concluded between the Islam Army and the Syrian government forces under a Russian mediation. Another said she had been riding in a taxi when the shelling started, and the auto crashed head-on into a wall.

It remains unclear exactly why the talks between Moscow and Jaish al-Islam have faltered.

But the buses at the nearby Wafideen checkpoint stopped filling up, amid reports that the rebel group remained divided and that options other than an evacuation were still on the table.

Leading Jaish al-Islam commander Mohammed Alloush told AFP that the Syrian regime were to blame for the collapse of the talks.

"The talks were going well".

Some of the injured are in critical condition, said Ammar Selmo, head of the Syrian Civil Defense in the city, fearing the death toll may rise.

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