Syrian army wages major offensive on rebel-held Damascus suburb, mass displacement reported

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Syrian children walk through ruins of destroyed buildings following an airstrike by the regime's forces near Damascus. File photo

ARA News

Damascus – Thousands of civilians fled the Ghouta al-Sharqiya district in Damascus suburb on Monday.

The mass displacement coincided with the Syrian regime’s army forces launching a major anti-rebel offensive near the capital Damascus.

Civilians evacuated main towns of the Ghouta al-Sharqiya district, including Hawsh al-Salihiya, al-Nashabiya and Zireqiya.

“We escaped Ghouta to save our children from the regime’s killing machine,” a father of five told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Syrian army launched on Sunday a major offensive on the rebel-held Ghouta al-Sharqiya [or Eastern Ghouta], conducting indiscriminate artillery bombardment and airstrikes.

“The bombardment mainly hit residential buildings in the towns of Ghouta on Sunday, causing dozens of civilian casualties,” local media activist Aladin al-Kurdi told ARA News over the phone.

“The heavy bombardment caused a state of panic among the people and pushed thousands to escape from the district,” the source reported.

In the meantime, clashes broke out between the Syrian regime’s troops and rebel fighters in the Ghouta al-Sharqiya.

The Syrian army was reported able to take parts of the Hazrama town in the district, forcing the rebel groups to retreat under fierce shelling.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi and Jamil Mukarram | Source: ARA News

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