A Syrian man flashes a victory sign in the Douma district of Damascus, Syria, on April 15, 2018. On Saturday, the Syrian army declared capturing Douma, the last rebel bastion in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, after the evacuation of rebels and their families. The Russian military police also entered Douma after the evacuation of the rebels, who left toward the rebel-held city of Jarablus in northern Syria under a deal with the Syrian government and the Russians. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
DAMASCUS, April 15 (Xinhua) -- After the Syrian army fully wrested control over the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, the army has sent reinforcements for a new battle against the Islamic State (IS) in an area south of the capital, a monitor group reported on Sunday.
The Syrian forces are now bracing to dislodge IS from the Yarmouk Camp area as well as the adjacent Hajar Awad, Qadam, and Tadamun areas, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The IS entered those areas in 2015 but their location wasn't as significant as that of the Eastern Ghouta, where the last rebel bastion of Douma district recently fell to the army.
The observatory said around 21,000 people, including 7,000 rebels with the Islam Army militant group left Douma recently, making the entire Eastern Ghouta empty of rebels, which saved the capital from the daily mortar attacks of the rebels.
Meanwhile, the state TV said Sunday the Syrian police forces have deployed in Douma amid ongoing preparations for the return of people to their homes.
The Russian military police also entered Douma after the evacuation of the rebels, who left toward the rebel-held city of Jarablus in northern Syria under a deal with the Syrian government and the Russians.
This operation, as well as the upcoming one in southern Damascus, aims to expand the circle of security around the capital.
On Saturday, the Syrian army declared capturing Douma, the last rebel bastion in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, after the evacuation of rebels and their families.
In its statement, the army said the bomb squad started inspecting the squares and streets to remove the roadside bombs left by the militants in that area in order to pave the way for other army units to secure the area for the return of the families.
The army said many factories for manufacturing weapons and munition were found in addition to a large number of tunnels and storages of food the rebels had kept from the civilians in that place.
"This major victory in Douma and the eradication of terrorism from the entire Eastern Ghouta is a natural result of the people's embracement of the Syrian army when they took to the streets, urging the army to liberate them from terrorism," the military statement said.
The army stressed its keenness about the lives of civilians as well as their security and protection.
The army said that the victory in Douma comes as the U.S., Britain, and France have launched their attack on the Syrian military positions earlier on Saturday.
The three Western nations launched their missile attack against the backdrop of the allegations of chemical weapon use by the Syrian forces in Douma on April 7 prior to the rebels' evacuation.
The Syrian government strongly denied the allegations, calling for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to send a fact-finding mission to look into the allegations.
But the United States and its allies launched their offensive on Saturday without waiting for the results of the inspection.
Bashar al-Jaafari, the permanent representative of Syria in the UN, said Saturday that the fact-finding mission arrived in the capital on Saturday afternoon as the Syrian government stressed its determination to cooperate with the team.