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Bashar Assad regime’s forces advance in Ghouta

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Monitor says Syrian govt. fighters want to cut off the main town of Douma.

Syrian regime forces have advanced inside Eastern Ghouta, a monitor said on Saturday, as fighting intensifies on the ground to retake the battered rebel enclave east of Damascus.

Russia-backed government forces on February 18 launched an assault on the besieged region, pounding the area with air strikes, killing more than 630 civilians.

On February 25, clashes on the ground between the armed opposition and regime forces intensified on the edges of the enclave, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. Since Thursday, regime forces have advanced inside the region, retaking an area in the enclave’s southeast, as well as another and two military bases in the south from main opposition group Jaish al-Islam.

“Regime forces and their allies have intensified their attacks on rebel positions in the past 48 hours,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Government fighters are trying to advance inside Eastern Ghouta to cut off the main town of Douma and its surroundings in the north of the enclave, as well as isolate the southeastern area of Al-Marj, he said.

The Observatory says “Russian advisors” are taking part in the battles alongside regime forces in Eastern Ghouta, backed by heavy air strikes and shelling. Since February 25, 60 regime and allied fighters have been killed, while 34 rebels from Jaish al-Islam have also died, it said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:21:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bashar-assad-regimes-forces-advance-in-ghouta/article22920659.ece

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