The Syrian army has started shelling a militant-held area south of the capital, Damascus, ahead of a major counter-terrorism operation there, says a pro-Damascus commander.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the commander said the shelling took place on Tuesday morning prior to the planned military campaign that would target the Daesh and the Nusra Front Takfiri terrorist groups in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp and the nearby al-Hajar al-Aswad area.
The Syrian government is also expected to retake another militant enclave near the village of Beit Sahm, said the commander, adding, however, that this will take place through a deal between the government and the militants under which they would be transferred to the northwestern Idlib Province.
“The lists of militants who will go on the buses towards Idlib are being gathered,” the commander noted.
The Yarmouk district’s liberation would give the Syrian government full control over the capital for the first time since 2012.
With the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta almost freed, the Syrian army is reportedly preparing for an anti-Daesh offensive in the southern districts of Damascus.
Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri terrorists who have lately increased their acts of violence across the country following a series of defeats on the ground.
On Saturday, Syrian soldiers entered the town of Douma for clean-up operations days after they fully retook the entire suburban area near Damascus from foreign-backed militants.
Douma was the last militant stronghold in the Eastern Ghouta region, which for years served as a launch pad for deadly terror attacks against civilians in the Syrian capital.
The Douma liberation came after the withdrawal of the members of the so-called Jaish al-Islam terrorist group under a Russia-mediated agreement with the government.