Syrian army captures areas near IS stronghold in southern Damascus

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-29 05:56:29|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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Syrians work at a factory in the Mazniyeh area, south of Damascus, capital of Syria, on April 28, 2018. The Syrian army captured areas including Mazniyeh after battles with the Islamic State (IS) militants on Saturday. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)

DAMASCUS, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army on Saturday fully secured four neighborhoods in southern Damascus after battles with the Islamic State (IS) militants.

The army closed in on a key bastion of the terror-designated group in the area of the capital, state news agency SANA reported.

The army fully captured the neighborhoods of al-Qadam, Mazniyeh, Asali, and Jourah, from IS around the Hajar al-Aswad and the Yarmouk Camp areas in south of the capital, said the report.

The Syrian army has been on a crushing offensive with huge firepower against IS.

Rebels with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front evacuated the al-Qadam area last month and the IS militants in the nearby areas stormed large parts of the neighborhood.

Ahead of the battle against IS, the terror group was offered a deal to evacuate to the remote part of the Syrian desert, as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which controls nearby areas such as Babila and Yalada, will evacuate to rebel-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.

But the IS militants thwarted the deal of evacuation, which sparked the war flare again, and it is expected that after the defeat of IS, the al-Qaida-linked militants will be bused outside Babila and Yalda, both entwined with the Hajar al-Aswad and Yarmouk, to Idlib.

The entire capital will be free of rebels and the military operation is expected to move towards the southern province of Daraa, which is around 100 km from Damascus.

IS has lost its major stronghold late last year, with the Syrian army capturing the Deir al-Zour city in eastern Syria as well as large swathes of the Syrian desert near the Iraqi border. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also stripped IS of its de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. 

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