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Eastern Ghouta recaptured by Syrian army. Control of the region vastly increases the security of the Assad regime

The recapture of Eastern Ghouta greatly increases the government's power
The recapture of Eastern Ghouta greatly increases the government's power
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By Mark Armstrong
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Over 40,000 rebels and their families have moved north to Idlib province

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The Syrian army said on Saturday it was in control of the Douma district of Eastern Ghouta after the removal of rebels and their families to Jarablus in northern Syria. The announcement was made by the state news agency SANA.

In a statement, the army said bomb disposal experts have started examining streets to removed live shells left behind by the rebels. They said their plan is to secure the area and allow families to return to their homes.

The rebels and who have left Douma are those who have so far rejected any reconciliation with the Syrian government. Others opted to stay and engage with a police force supervised by Russia. Over 40,000 thousand rebels and their families are reported to have moved north to the northwestern province of Idlib.

Douma was the last rebel stronghold in Eastern Ghouta. Control of the region reinforces the security of the capital Damascus and puts the Assad regime in its most powerful position in over seven years.

Rebels repeatedly shelled the capital from Eastern Ghouta and it was the scene of some of the first protests again the government.

The army said many factories for manufacturing weapons and munitions were found in addition to a large number of tunnels and storages of food the rebels had kept from the civilians there.

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