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Syrian forces storm frontlines of Islam Army in Douma: state media
The Syrian army on Saturday stormed the frontlines of the Islam Army in the Douma district of the capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta countryside, state news agency SANA reported.
The army forces broke through the frontlines of the Islam Army rebels in the farmlands east of Douma amid a state of collapse and chaos among the militant group, said SANA.
This comes as the army unleashed an offensive on Douma, the last rebel-held area in Eastern Ghouta, after an agreement for the evacuation of the Islam Army from that area failed.
Meanwhile, the Islam Army said on its official social network site that its militants foiled the advance of the Syrian army from the farms area on the outskirts of Douma.
For its part, SANA said the media arms of the Islam Army are fabricating news of chemical weapons use in Douma in "a failed attempt to hurdle the advance of the Syrian army."
It stressed the Syrian government's resolve to end terrorism in every inch of Syria.
Meanwhile, local TVs are airing footages of the targeting of Douma, a day after announcing that the Syrian Republican Guard units have started storming Douma.
The escalation of violence comes as the Islam Army backed down on its agreement to leave Douma in Eastern Ghouta toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria.
Douma was supposed to witness a similar destiny as other areas in the Eastern Ghouta, where 43,000 rebels and their families withdrew under a deal with the government toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria.
Three batches of the Islam Army and families withdrew from Douma recently, but as the fourth batch was preparing to leave, the agreement in Douma, which was mediated by Russia, collapsed.
The group also didn't live up to its part of the deal in terms of releasing thousands of kidnaped people in its captivity in accordance with the deal.
The release of the kidnapped people is a main demand of the Syrian government.
Instead, the Islam Army militants have presented new demands for staying in Douma to the Russian.
The Islam Army mainly demanded to remain in Douma with its weapons, while the Russians demanded the rebel group to hand over heavy weapons and allow the formation of a police force in that district supervised by the Russians.
But such demands haven't been approved and intense battles have raged in Douma since Friday.
The ground and aerial offensive of the Syrian army on Douma was coupled with mortar attacks by the militants on residential neighborhoods in Damascus, killing five people and wounding 30 others on Saturday.
[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 07Apr18]
War in Syria
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