Syrian government splits rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

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Damascus, March 11 (IANS) Syrian government forces have split the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, cutting off the largest city Douma, media reports said on Saturday.

Pro-government forces isolated the cities of Douma, Harasta and the al-Rihan farms from the rest of Eastern Ghouta’s rebel-held network of satellite cities and agricultural areas on the outskirts of Damascus, Efe quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The SOHR said the government’s advance also managed to cut communications between Douma and Harasta after effectively taking much of the territory that separates both locations.

Other Syrian media outlets also reported that the army had made progress against the rebels.

Since February 18, the Syrian government has used aircraft and artillery to heavily bomb Eastern Ghouta, killing a thousand people, according to the SOHR.

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According to the UN, some 400,000 people remain trapped in the area, which has been under siege for several years.

–IANS

qd/

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