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Syrian regime forces cut off largest Ghouta town

Assad's forces have rapidly advanced through Eastern Ghouta's countryside [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 March, 2018

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The regime army is set to divide besieged Eastern Ghouta into three isolated sections after taking control of most of Douma amid fierce clashes with rebels.
Syrian regime forces have divided the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta into three sections which are now cut off from each other, al-Araby al-Jadeed reported on Saturday morning.

The regime army has been making gains in the Ghouta countryside, which lies just east of Damascus, as well as capturing the town of Mesraba and the road linking it to Douma, Eastern Ghouta's main town.

Sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed that regime forces swept through Mesraba and are now controlling most of it, while aiming to capture the adjacent town of Madira.

Sources added that the Syrian opposition had engaged in fierce fighting with regime forces in the villages of Madira, Mesraba and Beit Sawa in a vain attempt to prevent the regime army from dividing Eastern Ghouta in two.

The regime forces are set to seize control of all of Douma and parts of Harasta, which they will cut off from the rest of Eastern Ghouta, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed.

The regime army is also attempting to take control of the the rest of Harasta, which would allow is to easily divide up the area into three sections consisting of Douma in the north, Harasta in the west and the remaining villages further south, each part isolated from the others.

More than 900 people have been killed, including hundreds of children, in Bashar al-Assad's brutal attempt to retake the enclave, which began on February 18. 

The main opposition forces present in enclave are Islamist groups, with Jaish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham being the most prominent.

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