Syrian military take full control over Eastern Ghouta
DAMASCUS. KAZINFORM Syria's government army has taken full control over the city of Douma that was held by the Jaysh al-Islam group and now entire Eastern Ghouta is under control of government forces, chief of the Russian center for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria Yuri Yevtushenko said on Thursday, according to TASS.
"Today saw a landmark event in Syria's history. A state flag hoisted on the Douma building heralded control over this settlement and, hence, over entire Eastern Ghouta," he said.
According to Yevtushenko, Russian military police units will be deployed in Douma following its liberation from militants to maintain law and order during its transition under control of Syria's legitimate government.
The Russian reconciliation center said earlier it is finishing evacuation of militants and their families from Douma. Yevtushenko said on Wednesday about 4,000 militants and members of their families had left the city during the past day, surrendering more than 400 pieces of weaponry, including large-caliber machineguns, grenade launchers, sniper and assault rifles.
Since late February, more than 41,000 people have left Douma, and more than 165,000 - Eastern Ghouta. As many as 250 hostages kept by militants have been released.