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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.


 

29 Comments

  1. Mikalina says

    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 and totally gaslighting what is being discovered in Ghouta.

    Talking about gaslighting, “Corbyn and Labour Party antisemites” worked to hide the Israelis’ planned and murderous response to a peaceful demonstration of the Palestinians leading up to the Nakba. Wonder what will actually happen in this country on 15 May, Nakba Day.

  2. John Watwood says

    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 the necessary systems to make it work: AI controlled 5G and IoT. Along with a global digital currency/block chain. Just like with fiat, there can be many different ‘kinds’, but pyramided to be controlled at the top. So, hegemony will be the NWO/UN and not the US. We shall play our part of course, but suspect less troops and more tech, NATO will become the UN official military to keep all little kakistocracies in line with the NWO/UN kakistocracy(big brother to all other kakistocracies). And never forget Agenda 21. There may be squabbling for natural resources and primitive ‘alpha’ egos in spitting contests, but they are all all in on Agenda 21. If their squabbling gets people killed; so what? Agenda 21 baby! It’s all good(not mind set, but those insane primitives of the kakistocracies). Just my thoughts, please conjecture all you wish.

    • milosevic says

      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

  3. 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”].

  4. 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 Jarabulus, the turkish regime’s Jihadistans [in northwest Syria], the land of Muslin Brotherhood…until the SAA smash them all next year or two.

    Keep the other eye on a major op about to start. Tiger Forces will be involved; planning, logistics and equipments are being prepared (Russia has been shipping by boat to the Tiger Forces new hardware, tanks, GRADs and few other goodies, all for new offensives). BTW, Russia has beefed up the SU34 fleet in Syria recently, some 6-8 new planes arrived, plus two A50s are in Syria 24×7.”

  5. MichaelK says

    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 media learned was how to present the propaganda and lies more effectively, and this, basically by banning all questioning and dissent from the pages and airways, which, of course makes it so mach easier.

    • John Watwood says

      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.

  6. summitflyer says

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

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

    • Harry Stotle says

      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 says

        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.

  8. Big B says

    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?

    • 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 the Syrian people.

      • John Watwood says

        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.

        • 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.

      • milosevic says

        The jihadi Beatles narrative

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

        • Mikalina says

          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 to be ‘droned’ or otherwise meet an ‘accidental’ death.

  9. Harry Stotle says

    “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 says

      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.

  10. 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 ISIS [the so-called Islamic State In Syria] will be eradicated from Syria for good.
    Many pockets [of armed rebels], as expected, are trying to re approach the Syrian Government for reconciliation. They do not want to be in front of [Russian] missiles and SAA bullets, they know what happened in East Ghouta (the toughest NATO/terrorists fortress in Syria) and how fast it was liberated.
    Lets just hope there is no false flag ahead, this can trigger unnecessary set backs.
    Good things expected for Syria, and it certainly deserves it.

    • John Watwood says

      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.

  11. 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.

  12. Harry Law says

    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 anti- tank missiles which made there way to the head choppers via Turkey, paid for by the Saudis and Qataris. Robert Ford former US Ambassador to Syria had to admit this reality in this exchange.
    “Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.
    Ford assured us that those taking up arms to overthrow the Syrian government were simply moderates and democrats seeking to change Syria’s autocratic system. Anyone pointing out the obviously Islamist extremist nature of the rebellion and the foreign funding and backing for the jihadists was written off as an Assad apologist or worse.
    Ambassador Ford talked himself blue in the face reassuring us that he was only supporting moderates in Syria. As evidence mounted that the recipients of the largesse doled out by Washington was going to jihadist groups, Ford finally admitted early last year that most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda. Witness this incredible Twitter exchange with then-ex Ambassador Ford: https://www.mondialisation.ca/you-wont-believe-what-former-us-ambassador-robert-s-ford-said-about-al-qaedas-syrian-allies/5504906
    Of course Tulsi Gabbard realised this long ago and sponsored the ‘stop arming terrorist Act’ in Congress. Russia stopped this regime change attempt when Assad legally invited Russia into Syria to help stem the West’s proxy forces assault on Syria
    Now the West has gone full retard, realising they are losing the Middle East to the growing power of the ‘Arc of Resistance’ Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah backed by Russia. Now the US occupy East of the Euphrates a quarter of Syria and hope to encourage the Kurds to be their boots on the ground and partition Syria with this nascent state, the Turks will not allow this, nor will any other state in the region, the US have a major problem, ‘should they stay, or should they go? Unfortunately I think they will try and stay, they will have to be driven out. Even now the Arabs in East Syria are turning against the US, things will turn hot for them soon.

    • CF says

      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?

    • 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 have no doubt that a solution is already being worked on.

    • John Watwood says

      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 satisfied. Again, we shall see, if we are still alive to actually see it.

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