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Military Expert to ST: Syrian Army to Break Apart Terrorist-Held Areas South of Damascus

The foreign-backed terrorist groups in the western Ghouta, south of Damascus, will surrender themselves when the ongoing military operations manage to break apart the area, the military and strategic expert, retired Brigadier-General Haitham Hassoun told the Syriatimes e-newspaper on Friday.

The expert affirmed that fighters, supported by Syrian warplanes and tanks, are advancing in the west-southern axis in al-Jora area, which is adjacent to al-Hajar al-Aswad area, and they will separate between al-Hajar al-Aswad area and Yalda area in the north-eastern axis. 

 “There are around 5000 terrorists in the western Ghouta, quarter of them affiliated to ISIS [ its Arabic acronym is Daesh]. They are expertly trained and well-equipped,” the retired Brig-Gen said, indicating that local media outlets cover the military operations against terrorists in the western Ghouta.

“The circumstances and the type of the ongoing battle in the western Ghouta and the mentality of the enemy define the conditions of media coverage,” he clarified, adding that there is a joint military operation center with Russian forces for providing Syrian air and tank forces with accurate reconnaissance data in all battles against terrorists.

The military expert pointed out that the terrorist groups in the Western Ghouta begged for negotiation with Russian forcesto surrender themselves at the first hours of military ground operations but they took back after they received orders from foreign countries.

“They took the negotiation back because they want to prolong the battle as long as possible in order to exhaust Syrian army units and to give Turkey a time to reinforce its position in the north of Syria and to combine the terrorist groups that arrived from the surrounding of Damascus to the Turkish militias-held areas in the north of the country [Idlib and Jarablus],” the retired officer asserted.

He, in addition, referred to the achievement realized in the eastern Qalamoun [ in Damascus countryside] where terrorists surrendered themselves to Syrian army without fighting as a result of the collapse of terrorists’ center in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus.

“This achievement is a victory as it ends the existence of terrorist groups in the far girdle of Damascus city, ends the mission of a huge number of Syrian military forces in Qalamoun to move to other fronts, and cuts off communication between hostile forces in al-Tanf and Badia or Damascus,” the expert concluded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour