Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday, visiting regime forces as they increase their foothold in the previously rebel-held area.
Assad told the cheering trooops they were "fighting in the whole world's battle" against terrorists.
He had driven to the region in his car, giving an interview en-route, saying that if he could end the situation without fighting, he would prefer to do so.
In a month-long assault, Russia-backed pro-government forces have retaken much of Eastern Ghouta, the last major insurgent stronghold near Damascus.
Failaq al-Rahman, the main rebel group in the area, said it was negotiating with the UN about a ceasefire, aid and evacuating injured people.
The United Nations resident coordinator in Syria, Ali al-Za'tari, told Reuters that some 25,000 civilians had fled Ghouta in the last week.
Most have left through a Syrian army corridor near Hammouriyeh.
Troops have splintered Ghouta into three besieged zones in one of the bloodiest offensives of the seven-year war.