Syria forces launch assault on rebel-held Douma

A March 20 picture shows smoke rising in Douma following air raids [Mouneb Abu Taim/ Anadolu Agency]
(Al Jazeera News Online) – Pro-government forces in Syria have launched a ground offensive under the cover of air raids on Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta.

The push on Friday signalled the collapse of a 10-day ceasefire over a potential deal to evacuate opposition fighters from the besieged enclave on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

According to the Syrian Civil Defence, a group of rescuers operating in opposition-held areas in Syria, the air raids killed at least 25 civilians, including women and children.

Syrian government forces said they retaliated after a faction within Jaish al-Islam, the rebel group controlling Douma, shelled a government-held area, killing four people.

‘Biggest’ evacuation sees more than 6,700 people leave Syria’s Ghouta

Jaish al-Islam, the last remaining rebel group in Eastern Ghouta, denies the accusation.

The group had been in Russian-brokered negotiations with the Syrian government for the past several days.

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About Cholo Brooks 12205 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.