Published: Tue, May 22, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Syrian army controls capital after ousting ISIS

Syrian army controls capital after ousting ISIS

The Assad regime claimed to have secured full control of the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the surrounding countryside for the first time since the start of the civil war seven years ago after driving a pocket of Islamic State fighters out of the southern suburbs.

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV said government forces plan to drive the militants from their remaining strongholds in the area.

Earlier, the Syrian government forces regained control over the eastern neighborhoods of the district of Yarmouk located south of Damascus.

State television broadcast footage of the shattered area and said air strikes "were targeting the last terrorist remnants" in the area after reporting earlier that a temporary humanitarian ceasefire had been in place since Sunday night, Reuters reported.

Some ISIS fighters were also allowed to leave the Palestinian Yarmouk camp, according to the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syrian state media denied it had reached a deal with IS militants, and declared that its control of Al-Hajr al-Aswad and Yarmouk Camp suburbs was a "military victory". Some ISIS fighters were allowed to leave the Yarmouk camp and neighbouring area Al Tadamon.

The gutted neighbourhood in southern Damascus was the Daesh group's last urban redoubt until Monday, when the last batch of militants evacuated after weeks of fighting.

The U.S. military is in much of the east and northeast, which is controlled by Kurdish groups that want autonomy from Damascus.

By eliminating extremist groups in the area, the surroundings of Damascus were completely free of radical groups, the reports said.

Smoke billows during Syrian army air strikes seen from the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus
Smoke billows during Syrian army air strikes seen from the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus

Syrian government forces and allied militias had encircled and besieged south Damascus since 2013.

Monday's reported SAA capture of south Damascus came in the wake of reports that IS fighters were evacuated from their positions in the capital over the weekend under an agreement with government forces.

The announcement came after troops cleared Islamic State (IS) militants from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and the Hajar al-Aswad district.

Russian Federation has conducted a military campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping reverse the course of war in Syrian President Bashar Assad's favor.

Mr Al Assad has already ousted tens of thousands of rebels and civilians from areas around Damascus this year through military force and negotiated withdrawals, including the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta.

Bahram Ghasemi told reporters on Monday that no one can force Tehran to do anything it doesn't desire to do.

Russian Federation and Iran have been Assad's strongest backers and have joined the war on his side.

Putin told Assad during a meeting Thursday that a political settlement in Syria should encourage foreign countries to pull out their troops from Syria.

Hawaii volcano erupts anew, residents urged to shelter
Scientists are warning this morning's explosive eruption on the summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be the first of many. High levels of sulfur dioxide forcing more schools in the Puna area to close because of the air quality.

Like this: