Syrian army divides Eastern Ghouta to three enclaves, reports reveal

One of the main insurgent groups in eastern Ghouta, Jaish al-Islam, said the“scorched earth policy” had forced rebels to retreat and regroup, but vowed to recover lost territory.

The Syrian army has made a significant advance in its effort to take rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, reports say.

Troops have cut off the region’s biggest town, Douma, and isolated another, according to UK-based conflict monitors the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), BBC reported.

The advance would effectively split the region into three parts.

The Syrian government began a major offensive last month to re-take Eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, according to the BBC.

Since then they have reportedly taken control of half of the region, in an advance that has left around 1,000 civilians dead over the past three weeks, according to SOHR.

The UN has called the bombardment “unacceptable”, saying it amounts to “the collective punishment of civilians”.

The military has been accused of targeting civilians, but it says it is trying to liberate the region – one of the last rebel strongholds – from those it terms terrorists, BBC reported.

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