Bashar Assad’s troops have penetrated deeply into the suburbs of the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. As reported on March 4, the army retains control over a quarter of the region’s territory.
A representative of the government army said that the troops managed to oust “terrorist groups” from settlements in the east and southeast of the region. If Assad's army advances just a few more kilometers, they will be able to divide Eastern Ghouta into two parts.
According to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, this involves lightly populated rural areas and several cities.
Eastern Ghouta, under the control of opposition forces and Islamists, has been under siege by the Syrian army since 2013. Since February 18, this area has been undergoing what are undoubtedly the most massive bombardments during the war in Syria, which began seven years ago.
According to the UN, nearly 600 people have been killed and more than 2,000 injured as a result of air strikes and shelling during this time.
The approximately 400,000 people that live in the region are in a very precarious position.
On February 24, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on a temporary, 30-day ceasefire in Syria in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate the wounded in need of medical assistance. The ceasefire does not, however, apply to military operations against a number of terrorist organizations.
On March 2, it was reported that Russian and Syrian troops launched a large-scale ground operation in Eastern Ghouta.