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Terrorists use civilians as human shield on Damascus outskirts as Syrian army advances

May 28, 2014, 18:21 UTC+3
Servicemen are forced to carry out protracted trench combat actions, while mediators are trying to convince mujahidin militants of al-Nusra Front to free hundreds of civilians
1 pages in this article
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Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory on the outskirts og Damascus
Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory on the outskirts og Damascus
Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory on the outskirts og Damascus
© EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI
Syrian soldier walk in front Aleppo prison after government forces broke a year-long rebel siege of the prison
Syrian soldier walk in front Aleppo prison after government forces broke a year-long rebel siege of the prison
Syrian soldier walk in front Aleppo prison after government forces broke a year-long rebel siege of the prison
© AP Photo/SANA
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
© EPA/SANA HANDOUT
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
© EPA/SANA HANDOUT
Syrian national flags seen in Homs
Syrian national flags seen in Homs
Syrian national flags seen in Homs
© AP Photo
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
© EPA/ATEF SAFADI
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
© EPA/ATEF SAFADI
Syrian tank near the village of Maaloula
Syrian tank near the village of Maaloula
Syrian tank near the village of Maaloula
© EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI
© AP Photo/SANA
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Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory on the outskirts og Damascus
© EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI
Syrian soldier walk in front Aleppo prison after government forces broke a year-long rebel siege of the prison
© AP Photo/SANA
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
© EPA/SANA HANDOUT
Syrian soldiers near Aleppo prison
© EPA/SANA HANDOUT
Syrian national flags seen in Homs
© AP Photo
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
© EPA/ATEF SAFADI
Clashes near Syria's border with Israel
© EPA/ATEF SAFADI
Syrian tank near the village of Maaloula
© EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI
© AP Photo/SANA

DAMASCUS, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The advance of the Syrian army on the locations of militants in Damascus outskirts has been practically stopped. Servicemen are forced to carry out protracted trench combat actions, while mediators are trying to convince the mujahidin militants of the terrorist al-Nusra Front to free hundreds, or even thousands of civilians, who are used as human shield by the bandits.

“There is fear and panic between them. We can hear this by intercepting radio conversations. They are always blaming some Arur, as we understand, a Saudi, who enrolled them. They came for caliphate, but they will meet doom,” Colonel Khalid, commander of a military unit in al-Qabun district — less than 10 km from Damascus downtown, told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

This district on the capital’s east is of strategic importance since it borders with the Homs – Damascus highway that runs further to the south to Daraa near the border with Jordan. Al-Qabun fell under control of the militants in late 2011 under the same scenario used three years later in Kiev on the Maidan: peaceful protests were fusilladed by anonymous snipers in order to cast the blame for hundreds of deaths upon the governmental forces.

General Wafiq, who commands the Syrian army in al-Qabun, is convinced that the initial tactics was first rehearsed in Syria as on a testing range, and Israeli secret services and their American allies are primarily involved in it. In the conversation with an ITAR-TASS reporter, the general recalled a trip of then ambassador of the US to Syria Robert Ford to Homs and Hama, where he generously pledged to help with money weapons to the rebels in their confrontation with the ‘regime’.

The ‘star of American diplomacy’, who now reached honorary retirement, also visited al-Qabun, and exactly after his unannounced trip began the riots, seizure of state offices, massacres and looting. The militants eliminated everyone who dared simply to come to work, and fusilladed people in government agencies.

Unlike other Syrian districts, this one was not rich in ancient monuments; Roman ruins were preserved here, but al-Qabun was built in the previous century as an industrial area, with its population amounting to 120,000 residents.

Today, this district does not exist, it is completely destroyed. Carcasses of residential houses and millions of tones of wreck on the streets is all that is left of the once prosperous industrial enclave.

Through the loopholes, locations of the militants can be seen in 50 meters from the locations of governmental forces.

“We could attack even tomorrow and eliminate all of them, but there are many civilians, hundreds, thousands, and therefore we do not get the order,” Colonel Khalid says. “They are surrounded, completely blocked. The Syrians would have surrendered long ago, but there may be up to a thousand foreign mercenaries, and they know that there will be no mercy on them, all will be eliminated, and we will not judge them.”

Several months ago, the militants applied the tactics of retreat through tunnels, which they dogged from one district to another, when the Syrian army increased pressure on one of the directions.

Today, any Syrian reacts with fear and disgust on the bond of districts Jobar – Barzi – al-Qabun. Not long ago, Damascus downtown was constantly attacked with mortar guns, and a permanent threat of intrusion persisted. Now the situation improved, the militants are gripped in a dense ring, up to 10,000 of them are eliminated, their tunnels are exploded, and they cannot move from one district to another unhampered anymore. However, the threat has not been completely eliminated.

“You understand that today Russia and Syria are on the same axis — the axis of countering global evil. And this resistance is led by your Abu Ali (with this word Syrian military entitle President Vladimir Putin as a sign of respect for virtue and courage). We would have not held up without him. But the victory is ours, and we thank Russia and the spirit of our people for that,” General Wafiq said at parting.

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