12 Apr 2018 10:27

Syrian govt forces take control of Douma - Russian Defense Ministry

DAMASCUS. April 12 (Interfax) - Syrian government forces have taken control of Douma from Jaysh al-Islam, the head of the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Yury Yevtushenko, told reporters.

"A significant event in Syria's history took place today. The state flag hoisted over a building in Douma signifies control over this populated locality and Eastern Ghouta as a whole," Yevtushenko said.

Russian military police will begin their mission in the town now that it has been liberated from militants and ensure law and order as control of Douma is transferred to the legitimate Syrian government, he said.

The reconciliation center is continuing to withdraw militants and their families from Douma. The remaining fighters of Jaysh al-Islam's illegal armed formations will leave the town soon. According to the First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, Vladimir Poznikhir, the militants have surrendered over 400 weapons, including heavy and regular machine guns, grenade launchers, and sniper and assault rifles, to the Russian military.

More than 165,000 civilians left Douma, and 250 hostages held by illegal armed formations were freed in the course of the operation.