Syria in Past 24 Hours: First Group of Terrorists Leave Harasta in Eastern Ghouta
An army officer told FNA that 27 terrorists along with 182 family members left Harasta for Idlib on 5 buses, adding that 40 buses along with several Red Crescent vehicles have been stationed in Harasta so far.
Meantime, the Syrian army ensured security for the evacuation of over 4,000 civilians to the army-held regions via the corridor at al-Wafedin camp.
The terrorists’ evacuation from Harasta, as one of their most strategic and most important strongholds in Eastern Ghouta, is seen a lethal blow to the militants in the region.
Based on the agreement with the Syrian army, a sum of 1,500 terrorists along with 6,000 family members are due to leave the region for Idlib.
In a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian army was on verge of surrounding the terrorists in one of their important strongholds during the military operations in the Southern parts of Eastern Ghouta.
The army forces broke through the terrorists’ defense lines in the town of Ein Tarma on Thursday after fierce clashes with the militants South of Eastern Ghouta, and imposed control over several buildings in the region.
Meantime, a field source said other army units also advanced in Wadi Ein Tarma region, adding that 70% of Wadi Ein Tarma farms are now controlled by the Syrian army and terrorists have been surrounded in a small area of the region.
He added that the two towns of Zmelka and Ein Tarma will be separated and Ein Tarma will be fully surrounded after the army forces meet each other from the two fronts of Wadi Ein Tarma and Damascus.
Also in the past 24 hours, Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group agreed to leave Harasta towards Northern Syria after sustaining heavy defeats in battle against the Syrian army in East of Damascus province.
Field sources in Eastern Ghouta reported on Thursday that after talks between the Syrian government and Russian Reconciliation Center and Ahrar al-Sham commanders in Harasta region, the latter agreed to withdraw its forces from the region.
They noted that 1,500 terrorists along with 6,000 family members will leave Harasta in several phases, adding that the Syrian government has given amnesty to the remaining militants who don’t want to leave Harasta.
The sources also revealed that Ahrar al-Sham was forced to leave the region due to the Syrian army’s insistence on cleansing Eastern Ghouta and the terrorists’ failed attempts to break the army’s siege on Harasta.
Also on Thursday, more than 30 terrorists laid down arms and surrendered themselves to the Syrian army in Harasta in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus as other groups of militants are retreating from the region.
Field sources in Eastern Ghouta reported on Thursday that over 30 terrorists have given up fight and surrendered to the government troops through the Water Resources corridor in Harasta.
They added that the Syrian army has set up a new safe corridor in Dhahiyah al-Assad region, noting that 140 families have also passed through the passageway from Harasta to the army-held areas in Eastern Ghouta.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army has eventually come to surround one of the key bases of the terrorists in the Southern parts of Eastern Ghouta as terrorists are retreating from the region.
The army forces continued clashes with the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta on Thursday and earned full control over Wadi Ein Tarma region.
A mid-ranking officer told FNA that the army units could finally shake hands with their comrades who had opened their way into the region from the direction of the Damascus city after advancing in Wadi Ein Tarma region and laid siege on the strategic town of Ein Tarma.
He added that the terrorists’ defense lines have collapsed after they sustained heavy damage and casualties in Ein Tarma.
Also on Thursday, the Syrian army discovered a large underground base during the purging operations in Eastern Ghouta that had been used by the al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) terrorists for false-flag operations against the Damascus government.
The army forces continued cleansing of the town of Kafr Batna in Eastern Ghouta on Thursday and found a 3-km-long tunnel 15 meters down under the ground which was equipped with communication equipment.
The tunnel includes a command center that operated for Faylaq al-Rahman and al-Nusra terrorists as well as a mock hospital that had apparently been used by the militants for false-flag operations to accuse the Syrian army of chemical attacks.
Over a dozen Turkish army troops were killed and two of their military vehicles were destroyed as clashes continue between the Turkey-led front and the Kurdish militants in Afrin in Northwestern Syria.
The Arabic-language website of RT quoted field sources as saying on Thursday that a military vehicle of the Turkish army was blown up in clashes with Kurdish militias in Jandaris and Bolboleh, killing 18 soldiers.
They added that the Kurdish militants also targeted a military vehicle carrying weapons and ammunition for the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants in the village of Kimareh, smashing the vehicle and killing all inside.
The Turkish army and affiliated militants are advancing towards the Syrian army positions in Northern Aleppo after occupation of Afrin.
The ISIL terrorist group has restarted training children for war and suicide operations in a region protected by the US and its allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzur in Southeastern Syria, an Arab media outlet disclosed on Thursday.
The Arabic-language al-Manar news website quoted sources affiliated to the Syrian government’s armed opposition as saying that the ISIL has again set up a military base to train what it calls ‘The Caliphate’s Lion Cubs’ in Southeastern Deir Ezzur near the border with Iraq.
Numerous reports have said in recent months that the ISIL is recruiting again in Syria with the US help to attack the Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzur and destabilize the country.
Al-Manar said the child militias training center has been set up under the supervision of the former commander of ISIL bases in Raqqa, Abu Mohammed al-Fransi, adding that a large number of Syrian and foreign children have been recruited in there.
Meantime, Alexander Ivanov, the spokesman of Russia’s airbase at Humeimim, said that “real evidence” indicates that the ISIL will resume operations with the support of certain regional and trans-regional states.
Also on Thursday, the Syrian army dispatched a large cargo of arms and military equipment to Deir Ezzur after heightened tensions with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) East of the province.
Army sources reported on Thursday that the armaments have been sent to the towns of Hatleh, Khasham and Marat in Eastern Deir Ezzur near the SDF’s positions in the province.
The US forces stationed in Syria had also earlier dispatched extensive military equipment to Eastern Deir Ezzur.
Reports from Northern Syria said tens of militants from the al-Nusra Front have lost their lives in air raids.
The army’s fighter jets on Thursday pounded the al-Nusra centers in the villages of al-Sakhar, al-Janaberah in Northwestern Hama, Kafr Zita, al-Latamineh and al-Masaseneh in Northern and Hor Benafseh in Southwestern Hama.
Meantime, the Syrian air force conducted several assaults on al-Nusra positions and moves in the village of Abedin, Banesqol and Sheikh Mostafa in Southern Idlib.
Field sources also reported that during the operations, tens of terrorists were killed and a number of others were wounded, adding that dozens of militants’ vehicles and positions were also destroyed in the raids.
The Kurdish militants have intensified forced recruitment in different areas in Hasaka after the Turkish army extended clashes from Afrin in the North-West to Northeastern Syria.
Witness accounts said on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have detained tens of young people in Hasaka city, Qamishli and Ra’as al-Ain to reinforce its troops against the Turkish army and its allied militants.
They referred to the intensified forced recruitment in Hasaka, and said the Kurdish militants had also earlier exercises forced recruitment of Kurdish and Arab civilians residing in Hasaka for years but they are now recruiting even those people who have immigrated to Hasaka from Deir Ezzur and Raqqa.
The Turkish army engaged in clashes with Kurdish militias in Hasaka despite international warnings about the bad humanitarian conditions in the town of Afrin.