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DAMASCUS, August 14. /TASS/. The Syrian Defense Ministry is conducting an awareness-raising campaign on returning to civilian life among gunmen of the moderate and irreconcilable opposition in the capital city’s suburb of East Ghouta where a de-escalation zone was set up nearly a month ago, Syrian General Fauz Mustafa told reporters.
"We can see a teacher and children at school, and here are militants who teach their children how to handle weapons. We ask them what they want their children to be like, like this or like that," the general explained commenting on the visual images prepared by the Syrian Defense Ministry circulated online.
According to Syrian military officials, during the hostilities in East Ghouta, they distributed more than a million leaflets. They also have a loudspeaker mounted on an armored vehicle.
Leaflets were dropped from a helicopter and distributed among civilians heading for East Ghouta through the Russian military police checkpoint located there. It is assumed that local residents some of whose relatives or friends are gunmen can persuade them to surrender.
The following message is broadcast through a mobile sound station: "Dear East Ghouta residents! Please help restore security in this district of Syria. Persuade gunmen to surrender." According to the Syrian military, such addresses often prove to be more effective than combat operations. Every day, militants side with government troops.