MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Syrian troops and militia on Saturday liberated from armed groups three settlements in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, the Al-Mayadeen TV channel reported.
According to the channel, the Syrian troops broke the fire perimeter and liberated localities of Utaya, Tal Firzat and Hawsh al-Salhiya. Jabhat al-Nusrah militants sustained serious losses and were forced to retreat.
The Syrian military command has tasked the armed forces with isolating a militant outpost in the al-Merej area, some 12 km away from Damascus, in a bid to facilitate the evacuation of civilians from Eastern Ghouta.
According to Al Mayadeen, the operation currently aims to recapture villages of Shifuniya and Al-Rahmaniya from Jabhat al-Nusrah and its supporters from the Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Rahman Legion groups.
A daily humanitarian pause was introduced in Eastern Ghouta from 09:00 to 14:00 local time, starting from Tuesday, February 27. In the village of Al-Wafideen, the Syrian authorities and the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides created conditions for civilians evacuating along the only humanitarian corridor connecting Damascus and Eastern Ghouta.
Maj Gen Yuri Yevtushenko, the chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria, said on Saturday that militants barred civilians from leaving Eastern Ghouta along the humanitarian corridor for a fifth consecutive day. The situation keeps deteriorating near the Syrian troops’ checkpoint, and snipers are still delivering fire on the approaches. Besides, a network of underground tunnels is used by militants for surprise attacks.