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Syrian opposition fighters launch offensive on Damascus gateway, retake ground

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Author: ReutersTue, 2017-03-21ID: 1490084369040289500AMMAN: Syrian opposition fighters stormed a major road junction leading into the heart of Damascus on Tuesday as they launched an offensive to regain ground lost to the army over the weekend, opposition and state media said.State media said opposition fighters had re-entered parts of the city’s northeastern Jobar district and the army was bombing their positions.“At 5.00 a.m. (0300 GMT) we launched the new offensive and we restored all the points we withdrew from on Monday. We have fire control over the Abassiyin garages and began storming it,” Wael Alwan, the spokesman of the main opposition group that launched the attack, Failaq al Rahman, told Reuters.There was no immediate comment from the Syrian army, which said on Monday it had recaptured all the areas in northeastern Damascus lost after a surprise opposition assault on Sunday in the strategic entrance to the heart of the capital.The intensity of the Syrian army’s counterattack on Monday forced the opposition to retreat from most of the areas they captured that day in an industrial area that separated Qaboun from Jobar.Syrian President Bashar Assad and his army, along with allied Russian, Iranian and Shiite militia forces, have put opposition fighters on the back foot with a steady succession of military victories over the past 18 months, including around Damascus.For opposition fighters, however, their first such large scale foray in over four years inside the capital signaled they were still able to wage offensive actions despite their string of defeats.
Main category: Middle-East

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