Syrian government forces have taken full control over the town of Douma, the last rebel stronghold in the eastern Ghouta enclave outside Damascus, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, citing a Russian military official.
“Today a significant event in the history of Syria took place. The raising of a regime flag over a building in the town of Douma signified control over this town and consequently over Eastern Ghouta as a whole,” Major General Yury Yevtushenko, head of the Russian military’s centre for reconciliation in Syria, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the situation in the town of Douma, just east of the Syrian capital, is “normalizing.”
More than 13,500 Syrian rebel fighters and their families have left Douma this month under a so-called evacuation deal between the rebels and the Russian military, a top ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
The Russian ministry says 1,500 left the town in the past 24 hours.