Syria war: Army takes full control of Damascus after ousting IS
May 21, 2018 4:17 pm
The Syrian military has declared that it has taken full control of all areas around the capital, Damascus, for the first time in six years.
“Damascus and its surroundings… are completely secure,” spokesman Gen Ali Mayhoub said on state television.
The announcement came after troops cleared Islamic State (IS) militants from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and the Hajar al-Aswad district.
Some jihadists are reported to have been evacuated by bus to eastern Syria.
Syria’s civil war began in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
The following year, the government began losing control of parts of Damascus and large swathes of territory elsewhere to jihadists and mainstream rebels.
The intervention in the conflict by Russia and Iran, both staunch allies of Mr Assad, has turned the tide of the war in his favour in recent years and allowed him to re-establish control over the capital and other major cities in western Syria.