The “chelical weapons” issue still remains an important factor impacting the development of the situation in Eastern Ghouta.
Late on March 19, the Russian military once again warned that militants in the region are preparing to stage chemical attacks to blame them on the Syrian government.
According to the report, members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) had prepared chemicals on a roof of one of the buildings in the region.
“The terrorists, according to [a local sources], could use those preparations to spray chemical agents in residential areas, which will lead to a large number of casualties among civilians,” Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko announced on Monday. “The mass poisoning of civilians will be used to accuse the government troops of the use of chemical weapons against peaceful citizens.”
On the same day, the White Helmets, an infamous propaganda organization operating in the militant-held areas, reported that the “Assad regime” had once again conducted a “chemical attack” in Eastern Ghouta. According to the White Helments, the attack took place “overnight” in the area of Harasta and resulted in no casualties.
Earlier in March, the US threatened that it will take a “direct ation” against Syrian government forces if chemical weapons are used. So, the militants may seek to trigger US strikes on Syria.
On March 20, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies continued developing momentum against militants in the southern part of Eastern Ghouta.
Government troops are currently conduting only limited operations in order to allow civilians to flee the militant-held areas. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 79,700 people have been evacuated since the daily humantiarian pause was introduced.
Yesterday 6 046 people were evacuated via Muhayam al-Wafedin & Hamouriyah humanitarian corridors.
In total 79 702 people have been evacuated since humanitarian pauses were introduced under auspices of Russian Centre for Reconciliation in Eastern Ghouta, most of them are children
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) 20 March 2018
Syrian helicopters over Eastern Ghouta:
An active phase of the military operation in Eastern Ghouta will likely be resumed if militants have refuse to accept a reconciliation agreement in the area.
A video from the recently liberated village of Saqba:
Meanwhile, the media wing of the ISIS Hunters of the 5th Assault Corps has reported that the ISIS Hunters have captured an ammo factory in the area northwest of Mudayrah. Militants had reported used the factory to produce mortar shells and other ammo.
— ISIS Hunters (@ISIS_Hunters) 19 March 2018
Photos from the area: