Syrian government forces are developing momentum against militants in the Eastern Ghouta region, near the country’s capital of Damascus.
On March 11, the Tiger Forces, the Republican Guard and their allies liberated the key town of Madiera in the central part of the region and cut off the Estern Ghouta pocket into two parts. On March 12, government troops continued their advance aiming to isolate militants in the area of Harasta (north of the Armoured Vehicles Base) from their counterparts in Douma.
According to some pro-government sources, army troops entered the areas of Satra and Alkhoms and already achieved this goal. However, these reports still have to be confirmed.
Separately, army troops advanced in a farm area near the towns of of Aftris and Jisreen in the southern part of Eastern Ghouta. The town of Aftris was even captured according to some pro-government sources.
Syrian Army Colonel Ferraz Ibrahim told the media on March 12 that government forces had found a make-shift workshop for making chemical weapons in the town of Aftris following the militants’ pullout.
“Apparently the charges were made as part of preparations for a provocation with the aim to eventually accuse government troops of using chemical weapons,” the colonel said.
Earlier, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said militants in Eastern Ghouta had been preparing to conduct a provocation with chemical weapons to blame the attack on the Syrian government.
Liwa al-Quds members involved in the operation: