Syria regime chemical attacks against opposition since 2011, says SNHR
Apr 06 2018
We review the key developments in Syria, including state media saying that more than 1,000 people have evacuated the last rebel pocket in Eastern Ghouta and reports that the Syrian government is trying to recapture the east Qalamoun region, northeast of Damascus.
The situation in Eastern Ghouta has been tense over the past months, resulting in constant shelling by militants of Damascus and fire from the Syrian pro-government forces.
Syrian government forces backed by Russian Federation have recaptured almost all of eastern Ghouta, which was the last major rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, in a ferocious assault that began in February, marking a major victory for President Bashar Al Assad.
The rebel enclave in eastern Qalamoun includes several towns and a barren expanse of mountainous territory.
Saif said rebels had made a proposal under which they would withdraw from the towns into the mountains and civilians would stay, and Russia's response was being awaited. At least 170,000 people, including civilians and rebel fighters, have also been evacuated out of the area.
According to the SNHR Syrian regime forces carried out 33 attacks before UN Security Council resolution 2118 was issued in 2013, and 181 attacks after that resolution. The campaign to seize the area began February 18, after the regime - with Russian backing - began a deadly air and ground offensive. Some 1,300 fighters, activists, and civilians signed up to leave the town, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
It marks Assad's most significant victory over the rebellion against his rule since rebels were driven from eastern Aleppo in 2016.
Jaish al-Islam has not yet confirmed the accord, amid reports hardliners within the group were refusing to leave their positions.
Militants left the area after Russian-brokered agreements on daily humanitarian ceasefires and deals made between militants and Syrian government forces.
Sunday's evacuation resulted from negotiations between Failaq a-Rahman and the Syrian government, spokesman Alwan said, adding that Jaish al-Islam played "no role whatsoever" in the evacuation deal.
The group, which is estimated to have many thousands of fighters, has previously insisted it will not leave Douma or accept "forced displacement" to another part of Syria.