News ID: 215421
Published: 0357 GMT May 21, 2018

Syria says capital 'completely secure', Daesh ousted

Syria says capital 'completely secure', Daesh ousted

Syria's Army said Monday it was in full control of the capital Damascus and its outskirts after ousting the Daesh terror group, marking a major milestone in the seven-year war.

"The Syrian Army announces today that Damascus, its outskirts and surrounding towns are completely secure," it said in a statement carried on official media.

The development came after troops had captured a key southern portion of Damascus from Daesh, the statement said, including the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk and the adjacent district of Hajar al-Aswad.

"The wheel of our progress on the battlefield will not stop until all Syrian land is purified," it added.

The gains by President Bashar Assad’s troops bring greater Damascus — including its far-flung suburbs — fully under government control for the first time since the war began in 2011.

 “Damascus and its surroundings are completely secure,” Gen. Ali Mayhoub said

The fighting in southern Damascus has left scores of dead on both sides and caused massive destruction in the Yarmouk camp, which was a built-up residential area, and its surroundings.

The army's announcement came hours after saw hundreds of Daesh terrorists and their relatives quit Yarmuk, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The government said a brief cease-fire had allowed one convoy of women and children to leave the pocket in southern Damascus.

The observatory said Monday that a new batch of terrorists and their families left late Sunday, heading east toward the Syrian desert. It added that Daesh terrorists have been setting their offices and vehicles on fire so that government forces would not be able to seize equipment or documents belonging to the terror group. 

Government troops and allied Palestinian militiamen have fought since April 19 to recapture the area.

Since last year, Syria's government has cleared swathes of territory around Damascus from its armed opponents through a blend of military pressure and evacuation deals.

More than 1,000 terrorists and civilians left Qadam in March for territory in northern Syria.

The following month, Assad's forces began the assault specifically targeting Daesh.

 AFP and AP contributed to this story.







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