Syrian forces have been able to isolate the main city of the eastern Ghouta region, Duma, and divide the rebel enclave into three sections, according to activists at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian army’s offensive against the last major rebel bastion was launched on February 18 th and in three weeks, killed 976 people, 208 of whom were children, and leaving more than 4,300 wounded, according to the Observatory.
Bashar al-Assad’s regime forces have already managed to oust the rebels from about half the enclave, which stretches for about 100 square kilometers and where 400,000 people live, and continues to make progress on the ground, despite a counter-offensive launched by the rebels .
Today, the army “isolated Duma from the rest of Eastern Ghouta, after taking the freeway connecting to Harasta to the west, and Misraba to the south,” the non-governmental organization said.
With this advance, the regime managed to divide the enclave into three parts – Duma and its periphery to the north, Harasta to the west and the rest of the locations to the south – and, consequently, to weaken the response capacity and supply of the rebels.
According to a journalist with the France-Presse agency in Duma, the city has been heavily bombed today and the streets are deserted.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told the agency that “Syrian and Russian planes dropped barrels of explosives in Duma” and continue to attack other locations.