Pro-regime Syrian Forces Advance Further Into Eastern Ghouta
The Assad regime is nearing one of its most strategically significant victories in years, as Syrian forces tighten their grip on Eastern Ghouta, an enclave located on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Pro-government fighters, backed by Russian air power, launched the deadly assault last month and are now in control of about 75 percent of the region, leaving the town of Douma as the last remaining rebel stronghold in the area. Negotiations that would allow the two major opposition groups to surrender and evacuate their last pockets of resistance reportedly are underway with the Syrian government, with other deals having already been cut with weaker anti-regime fighters. More than 1,500 civilians have been killed in the campaign, which also has kept some 400,000 people under siege and at the risk of starvation.