On March 11, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces split the East Ghouta pocket into two parts and fully isolated the Duma district after they had captured the strategic district of Mudayrah, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria. Following the liberation of Mudayrah, SAA and Tiger Forces units reached the SAA positions around the Armored Vehicles Base.
Currently, the Jaysh al-Islam militant group is besieged in the Duma district, while Faylaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are besieged in the rest of the East Ghouta pocket.
According to Syrian pro-government sources, this major breakthrough will allow the SAA to negotiate with Jaysh al-Islam face to face. This means that a peaceful solution in Douma is more possible now as Faylaq al-Rahman and its allies have sabotaged all the previous peaceful efforts.
Only minutes after the SAA advance, the Qatari al-Jazeera TV claimed that the SAA had attacked civilians in the Irbin district in the western East Ghouta pocket with “chlorine gas”. As usual, the Qatari channel didn’t provide any evidence what so ever to support its claims. Moreover, several Syrian opposition sources didn’t release any reports about the supposed “chemical attack”.
عاجل | مصادر طبية: النظام السوري يستهدف مدينة عربين في الغوطة الشرقية بغاز الكلور السام
— الجزيرة – عاجل (@AJABreaking) March 11, 2018
Over the last three months, militants in the East Ghouta and the mainstream media have claimed that the SAA have used chemical weapons against civilians dozens of times. However, they have never presented any real evidence. Even the US acknowledged on one occasion that it got no evidence to support these claims.
The recent Al-Jazeera report is likely nothing more than a propaganda stunt aimed at providing a media cover for militants. Some opposition figures believe that only a US military action could save the besieged the militants in East Ghouta.