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Syria's Assad visits Eastern Ghouta troops in rare 'front line' visit

19 March 2018

Terrorists have resorted to firing mortars to Damascus at random as the Syrian Army continues its successful offensive in Eastern Ghouta to free that region in Damascus Countryside from militants of the Jablat al Nusra and affiliated salafist groups.

Video obtained by Reuters showed civilians including women and children walking back to their homes through streets strewn with rubble and lined with damaged buildings.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has visited eastern Ghouta on Sunday for the first time in years, where a military operation to retake the area from militants is ongoing and a steady stream of civilians are fleeing to safety.

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Figures close to rebels said talks were underway with the aim of them leaving to other opposition areas or giving up arms, though rebels have publicly ruled out the kind of negotiated withdrawal that helped Assad recover Aleppo, Homs and other areas.

Four major rebel groups are now positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham and the Levant Liberation Committee.

The SANA news report said mass evacuation took place on Saturday night through two crossings, one in Hamouriyeh and the other near the Water Resources facility in Harasta.

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The development came on the same day that Syria's official news agency SANA reported that thousands of civilians had managed to leave Eastern Ghouta as militants have been raining rockets on the capital Damascus from the suburb area, while using civilians there as human shields, preventing their exit through safe passages set up by Russian Federation and blocking their access to humanitarian aid.

The rare visit, which apparently aimed to showcase confidence and victory, comes as the Syrian forces are making strides in the battles against various rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta.

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Syria's Assad visits Eastern Ghouta troops in rare 'front line' visit