Syrian army forces strike last militant stronghold near Damascus
Syrian government forces have intensified shelling and air strikes on the last militant stronghold near the capital city of Damascus as army soldiers and allied fighters from popular defense groups continue to make territorial gains against foreign-sponsored militant groups across the war-battered country.
Local sources said elite units of the army, positioned on the strategic Mount Qasioun that overlooks Damascus, struck Jobar district, located some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) east of the Old City walls, as well as Ain Terma suburb, located 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) east of Old Damascus.
Syrian army troops also struck militant outposts in Zamalka, located 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) northeast of Old Damascus, Harasta city and Kafr Batna town.
Abu Obada al-Shami, a commander from the Takfiri Faylaq al-Rahman militant group, said the extremists had dug tunnels and fortified their positions in the Eastern Ghouta district in a bid to impede government forces’ advance.
Meanwhile, Syrian Air Force jets bombarded Daesh positions in al-Bawlieh Mountain, Ma’adan subdistrict, al-Khamaiseh, al-Jaber and al-Numaisa districts south of the northern city of Raqqah.
Elsewhere in Salamiyah district of the central province of Hama, Syrian military aircraft pounded Daesh position, inflicting heavy losses on their ranks.
Syrian Air Force warplanes also carried out airstrikes against Daesh gatherings and fortifications in al-Khashabiyieh, al-Fasda, Abu Hubailat, Jana al-Albawi, al-Dukailiyah al-Shamaliyah and Salba districts, killing and wounding scores of the terrorists.
Furthermore, Syrian government forces regained control over Manoukh village in the eastern part of Homs Province after eliminating the last pockets of Daesh terrorists there.
Syrian military aircraft also hit Daesh positions across the troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, leaving many terrorists dead and injured.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.