Government forces have secured a large area west of the Syrian capital of Damascus, Hezbollah’s media wing in Syria reported on April 19, releasing the map above. (comments in English by SF)
According to the report, militants and their families successfully withdrew from the areas of Zabadani, Madaya, Buqayn, Sirghaya and Ayn al-Hawr at the Syrian-Lebanese border and government forces are now securing these settlements and the nearby hills.
Earlier reports appeared that the last group of militants were set to leave Zabadani on Wednesday.
The liberation of Zabadani, Madaya, Buqayn, Sirghaya and Ayn al-Hawr is an important step in the long-run government campaign aimed at securing the Damascus countryside.
Following this success, the Syrian army and its allies will focus on other pockets remaining near Damascus:
- The Bayat Jinn-Mazraat Bayt-Mughr al-Mir pocket southwest of Damascus and the Kanakir pocket south of Damascus look as obvious targets for government efforts;
- The liberation of the Qabun area and the Eastern Ghouta region are also important goals.
More details about the strategy of the Syrian army and its allies after the liberation of Aleppo: