Syrian Regime Forces in Full Control of Damascus, its Suburbs

Syrian Regime Forces in Full Control of Damascus, its Suburbs

He and his counterpart hailed the beginning of the "political process" in Syria amid an ongoing "fight against terrorism".

According to the report, locals said they heard powerful explosions in the area of Najjah where a military academy is said to be located.

In a televised statement, Syria's army high command said Al-Hajar al-Aswad and Yarmouk had been cleared of militants.

"Damascus and its surroundings are completely secure", Mayhoub said.

The gains by President Bashar Assad's troops bring greater Damascus - including its far-flung suburbs - fully under government control for the first time since the war began in 2011.

"Our presence there is legitimate and at the government's behest".

The camp was deserted by most of its inhabitants after years of siege, and the few remaining residents fled to nearby areas in the last days of the bombardment.

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The Islamic State also captured a third of neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but was largely defeated there previous year.

The TV earlier quoted an unnamed Syrian military official as saying the two-day truce had been in place to evacuate women, children and the elderly on Sunday night from Hajar al-Aswad.

Buildings and walls were pocked-marked from bullets and shell-fire, metal satellite dishes were bent, and scorched, and the dome of a mosque had a gaping hole near its base.

Along with the Syrian regime, Iran considers the military intervention by the United States and its allies in Syria as an act of aggression.

For this reason most media outlets commenting on Putin's reference to "foreign forces" interpret this as a jab at key Syrian ally Iran; however, a number of Middle East based journalists and analysts point to USA occupying forces in Syria's northeast, as well as Turkey's military and armed proxy groups in the formerly Syrian Kurdish Afrin canton near Aleppo, and the tens of thousands for foreign jihadists that continue to fight in Syria - many of them state sponsored by Saudi Arabia and other external actors.

With U.S. -backed Kurdish forces in control of a quarter of Syria and Turkey holding territory inside the Syrian border, Putin said he and Assad agreed on the need for foreign troops to leave the country.

While Assad has vowed to win back "every inch" of Syria, the map of the conflict suggests a complicated time ahead.

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