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Iran Press TV

Syrian army gives Takfiri militants in Harasta ultimatum to withdraw by mid-afternoon

Iran Press TV

Sun Mar 18, 2018 01:34PM

The Syrian army has given foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists operating inside Harasta town of the militant-held Eastern Ghouta enclave to withdraw till 3 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) on Sunday.

The report came shortly after Syria's official news agency SANA reported that thousands of civilians, whom extremists were using as human shields to slow down the progress of government forces and their allied fighters from popular defense groups, have managed to leave Eastern Ghouta.

The report noted that more than 5,000 civilians, mostly children and women, depart the area through humanitarian corridors set up by the army troopers.

The evacuees were reportedly provided with basic commodities upon arrival at Syrian army posts before being transported to temporary accommodation centers.

This is while Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin of the Russian peace and reconciliation center in Syria said more than 25,000 people have fled besieged Eastern Ghouta region in single day.

Zolotukhin said they left on Sunday through the town of Hamouria, located about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) east of Damascus city center.

Separately, Syrian army soldiers have started an operation to comb Saqba town, located 7 kilometers east of central Damascus, of hidden explosive devices planted by Takfiri militants in the area.

Syrian government forces are now pursuing the remnants of terrorist organizations in the towns of Kafr Batna and Saqba in the southern outskirts of Eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian army says it has captured 80 percent of Eastern Ghouta, after splitting the area into sections to facilitate the battle against various militant groups there.

Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus which is home to some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few days, with foreign-sponsored terrorists launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

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