All E. Ghouta towns liberated, key Damascus highway open after 7yrs of blockade – Syrian military

AssadGhouta
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reaches out to shake the hand of a Syrian army soldier in eastern Ghouta, Syria, March 18, 2018. Photo AP
RT reports:

Syrian forces have liberated all militant-held settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, the military command said in a televised statement. A major Syrian motorway has been unblocked for the first time in seven years.
“After a set of carefully planned battles and operations carried out by our armed forces in cooperation with loyal and allied troops, the control over all the towns and settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta has been restored,” a Syrian Army statement said, as cited by Sputnik news agency.
The army has also lifted the blockade of a main highway connecting the Syrian capital to the rest of the country, the statement said, as cited by SANA state news agency. “The victory in Eastern Ghouta ensured opening of the main routes between Damascus and central, northern and coastal regions, and all the way to the Iraqi border,” it said.
Syrian forces managed to defeat the militant groups holding Ghouta after their headquarters, ammunition depots, fortifications and weapons factories were destroyed, the army said. It added the military units are continuing the offensive on the outskirts of the town of Douma, driving militants out of the area.
The milestone victory would ensure the “restoration of security and stability in Damascus,” and would bring relief to a civilian population that has suffered from “terrorist crimes and sponsors of terrorist organizations over the past several years.”
The Eastern Ghouta area has been under siege since 2012. In February this year, Syrian troops began their offensive to liberate the last militant-held stronghold located close to Damascus.
On February 27, Russia brokered the humanitarian ceasefire in eastern Ghouta to allow civilians to escape the area through a humanitarian corridor, several of which have since been set up. The cessation of hostilities was renewed several times, allowing civilians, as well as militants and their families, to safely exit the besieged area.
The Russian military also helped the Syrian Army ensure security in and around humanitarian corridors, through which both civilians and militants were exiting. The troops thwarted dozens of suicide attacks targeting buses that ferried civilians out of the area, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday. Forty-eight explosive belts were also seized during anti-terrorism raids.
The efforts enabled at least 150,000 people to leave eastern Ghouta for safety, the majority of them being Syrian civilians suffering under the militant rule. As the area was being liberated, some 40,000 people returned to their homes. Those who have returned are receiving aid packages delivered by UN agencies and the Russian Reconciliation Center.
Life in eastern Ghouta will soon be returning back to normal in a way that is similar to what is now happening in Aleppo, which was liberated from militants with Russia’s help in late 2016, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, reacting to the news.
“We have a place, which was one of the last terrorist strongholds, cleared from militants… We have obvious progress, which is admitted by the UN and humanitarian organizations; we have the process of withdrawal of civilians [from terrorist-held areas] and the liberation of towns,” Zakharova told Russia’s Channel 5.
Those are the signs that “bit by bit, eastern Ghouta will follow the footsteps of Aleppo, where from 100,000 to 200,000 people have already returned,” she said. “It still less than what used to be the city’s population [before the war], but it shows that life is really starting to come back to normal.”

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A Syrian soldier mocks the defeated jihadi militants being bussed out of Eastern Ghouta.


 

co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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Mikalina
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Mikalina

Strange benign article on the tunnels in Ghouta from Fisk in the Independent today. He talks about them being built by Palestinians on loan from Hamas yet I listened to Vanessa Beeley yesterday on UKColumn saying that the tunnels were obviously complicated structural engineering using precision equipment. It is possible to drive a car straight into these tunnels. She also talked about operating theatres and organ harvesting – not mentioned by Fisk. Appalling effort at information control to couple with the ‘look there’s a rabbit’ (or is it rubber duck?) of the Skripal case which has kept us all agog… Read more »

John Watwood
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John Watwood

Excellent article and I am ecstatic that the liberation has come about in E. Ghouta. Now, for the rest of the country. The US has already declared that they are not going anywhere. And if Syria wants them out, it may take an actual confrontation; power never concedes no matter how stupid and insane. Unless, all the ‘hired guns'(useful idiots) reconcile and give confession and testimony; THAT may be enough for the US/West to back off. But, there is also Iraq, Afganistan, several African Nations….and Israel to consider here. The NSR is going in, it will be complete along with… Read more »

milosevic
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milosevic

more explanation; less acronyms.
If your claim is that “Agenda 21” is something other than the UN feel-good plan that it purports to be, that would require an actual argument. “Conjectures” aren’t worth much, by themselves.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

vexarb
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Canthama reported 4hr ago: “Yesterday we have mentioned at Syrper that northern Homs pocket (partially southern Hama) was ripe for reconciliation, today 3 villages asked the SAA to come in. Taqsis, Imarah, Jamaqiliyah
Many more villages will re embrace Syria in the next weeks, this the results of the definitive victory by Syria and allies in East Ghouta and the powerful and wise use of the reconciliation effort [initiated years ago by Dr.Assad against much internal criticism for “harmful mildness”].

vexarb
Reader

Canthama on SyrPer 4hr ago: ” things will move fast in Syria after East Ghouta liberation. Keep an eye on two developments, a lot of threat, noise, but it may end up in reconciliation: 1) East Qalamoun [south central Syria]– mostly Jaish Al Islam terrorists. 2) Daraa [south] – mixed bags of terrorists. Both are already receiving strong pressure to reconcile, it is a fact. Ultimatum was given to both, reconcile or taste the fury of RuAF/SAAF/SAA combined. There is a very high chance they will reconcile, and the ones that do not want will be shipped to Idlib or… Read more »

MichaelK
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MichaelK

At some point in the future, if we have a future, students will look back on the West’s intervention in Syria, especially the role of the media, and this is after the Iraq debacle remember, with something close to stunned disbelief that the journalists could ever bring themselves to take part in such a dangerous and disgraceful series of brazen propaganda offensives designed to legitimize yet another western war of aggression designed to topple yet another state in the Middle East, regardless of the massive bloodshed and destruction to follow. As if Iraq never happened and the only thing our… Read more »

John Watwood
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John Watwood

I surely do hope so. Well, look how historians and academia look upon Greece and Rome, and France and England. With awe and a sparkle in their eye. I’m not sure about the disbelief. Perhaps, pertaining to the media, perhaps with a shrug. Unless the planet forgoes the primitive mind set of sovereignty, imperialism, and hierarchy, nothing with change. Students will be indoctrinated as they are today that all three words prior is not just the norm, it is RIGHT, it is the orthodoxy.

summitflyer
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summitflyer

I love that last picture ,the soldier holding a boot while giving the terrorists the finger .Good riddance !

milosevic
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milosevic

John Watwood
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John Watwood

chuckling Right on summitflyer.

JudyJ
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And when should we expect the UK Government, Nikki Haley and mainstream media to celebrate this landmark achievement? Their silence is deafening.

Harry Stotle
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Harry Stotle

As you know Judy, Britain’s so-called liberal MSM backed regime change, the White Helmets and unverified stories about chemical attacks.
I daresay there will be a few tears in Guardian Towers after learning Saalfist factions opposing Bashar al-Assad, and by extension the Russians will no longer be able to bomb Damascus or commit human rights abuses in East Ghouda.
I’m sure Olivia Solon apologia is taking shape even as we speak?

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

The White Helmets won an Oscar ffs. If that tells one anything. Primitive mind set of these ‘elites’ isn’t going away anytime soon. It is their orthodoxy.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Got to love the SAA soldier giving our sponsored cuddly headchoppers the boot and the finger!
Elsewhere, the two remaining jihadi ‘Beatles’ have been allegedly stripped of their British nationality. Bring ’em home I say: put them on very public trial. Maybe they will testify to who was paying their wages of sin? Maybe we will find out where some of our £2.5bn of British taxpayer funding went? Maybe the teachers, nurses, disabled or homeless would be able to comment on whether it was money well spent?

Wolfe tone
Reader

The jihadi Beatles narrative, imho, is purely an attempt by the British govt to prepare the British public into not raising an eyebrow(suspicion) as to why the Brit govt is so keen to extract so called Brit jihadis from Syria. The suspicion being that the Brit govt is simply looking after its own fighters/agents in Syria. The rats are scarpering and the Brits must look after its own rats after all they were doing what the Brits wanted them to do I.e instil widespread fear and terror upon Syria in order to take control and power at the expense of… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

The jihadi Beatles narrative
I am unfamiliar with the jihadi Beatles of which you speak. Do you have a reference?

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

This is the ‘narrative’ we have been given: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/09/jihadist-beatles-britons-face-isis-cruelty BUT The Guardian is a state propaganda outlet and: It has been shown that footage shown of beheadings can be manufactured; Martin Chulov, ‘journalist’ is suspected of being embedded with the jihadists; ISIS is US/UK intellegence operated so who do the four ‘belong’ to? The UK government would be well aware who they were (assisted in their radicalisation?_and when they left for Syria; best scenario is that they were monitored for intelligence gathering purposes; worse scenario they are UK ‘operatives’ and the best thing that could happen to them would be… Read more »

John Watwood
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John Watwood

Yup, remember a year or so ago, many agents of quite a few countries got caught along with the terrorists in Syria when Syria liberated an area. I agree, the instigators do not want to be caught again.

BigB
Reader

I agree: not three weeks ago they were going to raze Damascus to save their oppos. The fact that such an act of war could initiate WW3 did not seem to impinge on their psychoses. The announcement of our first casualty of the ground war is not coincidental either. Looks like the French are going in. The question is will we be joining them under our bi-lateral Lancaster House treaties? I say yes: but covertly.

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

“We have a place, which was one of the last terrorist strongholds, cleared from militants… We have obvious progress, which is admitted by the UN” – such an admission could not have been easy for the side that all along has backed Sunni fantatics.
Any chance of the UN admitting the horrific cost of their anti-democratic complicity?

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

Nope. The UN is nothing more than the League of Nations the imperialists wanted set up long ago. First time after the Napoleanic Wars. In the early 1800’s. Play of words, same NWO centralized kakistocracy. The UN hasn’t sent 100K soldiers down there to help liberate have they? Nope#2. I wish countries around the world would realize the fact that the UN is a sham. We shall see though.

vexarb
Reader

Canthama’s view in SyrPer 8hr ago: “As weeks pass by, the fate of Syria will be much brighter and clear to all. Backstage deals are busy as ever had before. This is the effect of East Ghouta liberation, is basically marked the end of the war of aggression against the Syrians. The negotiations involve many NATO countries, GCC, Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Hizballah. It involves a combined retreat of many foreign forces/militias, indicating the sharp shift in battles. Very important moments ahead. ISIS will be eliminated in south Ghouta and Homs (centre), and Daraa (border with Israeli-occupied Golan), basically… Read more »

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

Hopefully, but power never concedes. Corporations want their greed gorging to continue and the military is gungho to accommodate them. sigh. Yes, hopefully the backlash will not be horrific and the purge of warmongering continues to it’s end.

intergenerationaltrauma
Reader

No doubt the psycho-boys in the Pentagon and CIA are crying crocodile tears because peace has broken out in E. Ghouta in spite of their most valiant efforts to maintain their jihadist buddies. What an absolutely insane narcissistic mindset to believe that a more cooperative egalitarian world is unacceptable and only maintaining total Western dominance is a worthwhile goal. What kind of nut jobs think this way! Don’t answer, it’s one of them there rhetorical questions.

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

laughing. Well said.

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

The regime change machinations of the West started many years before the ‘Arab spring’, with the hope of displacing Assad, Syria [the low hanging fruit] first, followed by Hezbollah, making it easier to confront Iran. The head choppers made their policies clear from the start, all minorities Alawites, Christians, Druze, Shia even Sunni Muslims had to convert to their [IS and Al Nusra] form of Islam or die. Hezbollah had no alternative than to join Assad because the Islamists told Hezbollah ‘they would be next. The US supplied Saudi Arabia with thousands of tons of arms including thousands of tow… Read more »

John Watwood
Reader
John Watwood

Yes, the NWO-UN cannot have an empire running around the world. We must be taken down quite a few notches. NATO isn’t going anywhere, just the other countries will play a much larger role and become more incorporated into the UN overtly. Israel wan’ts to dominate that region for the NSR and the US right now is accommodating them, but, we shall see. The ‘elites’, the insane primitives, have no loyalty to any individual, just the hierarchy of the kakistocracy itself. As long as they can dominate the soon to be digital global currency and it’s systems, they will be… Read more »

duplicitousdemocracy
Reader

Kurd control over 2/3 Arab population was never going to work . Once the reality of being secondary to the Kurds has sunk in, the Arabs would turn against US. The attacks by Erdogan are interesting because it drives Kurds toward East of the Euphrates – changing the demographics there. I don’t know if this is the plan but nothing the US does would surprise me. Having said that, the Russians and Syrians have been more than shrewd in the methodical retaking of militant to Syrian government controlled areas and though East of Euphrates might seem a problem now, I… Read more »

CF
Reader
CF

If the US forces stay can we, and the MSM call it “annexation” in the same way that the Golan heights and Crimea were “annexed”? Or should we call it, God forbid, illigal occupation?