The Syrian Army has announced that it has lifted the militant blockade of a major highway connecting Damascus to the rest of the country. A Ruptly drone has captured the destruction wrought by seven years of fighting.
The army said it has liberated all of the settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta from militant forces, and restored government control of the area. In the most recent development, the Russian Reconciliation Center, which is assisting in restoring stability, reported having negotiated a deal with Jaysh al-Islam, the last major militant group in the region, to start evacuating from the town of Douma.
Syrian troops started their major push on Eastern Ghouta in February, aiming to unseat a militant occupation that had been in place since 2012. The militants fought back, launching mortars against Damascus, leaving behind minefields and using civilians as human shields. Seven years of fighting has left the area grievously scarred – as is evident from this aerial footage filmed by a Ruptly drone.