Syria's Douma faces catastrophe: local council

The city of Raqqa in Syria has been reduced to rubble

In an interview with Russia's Sputnik news agency released on Friday, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari also said that the accusations leveled by the U.S. and its allies against the Syrian government regarding the use of chemical weapons in the Eastern Ghouta region are meant to protect the terrorist groups and block the army's advance against foreign-backed militants.

Despite a recent UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Syria, the regime and its allies on March 3 began a major ground operation - backed by Russian air power - aimed at decisively capturing Eastern Ghouta, an opposition-held suburb of Damascus.

This is one of the first recorded civilian evacuations from Eastern Ghouta since Russian Federation and Damascus opened a humanitarian corridor more than a week ago. Douma is eastern Ghouta's largest settlement.

In an apparent sign of local discontent with the rebel policy of holding out, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported that hundreds of people protested in the town of Kafr Batna to demand a deal to end the onslaught. But Faylaq al-Rahman, one of the two main rebel groups in the region, issued a statement rejecting the prospect of an exit, the AP said. Local council member Iyad Abdelaziz said residents and local authorities are now considering evacuating the town.

Turkey launched a military offensive against the USA -backed Syrian Kurdish militia known as YPG, to clear its fighters from the enclave of Afrin.

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"Now the center of Afrin is surrounded and our entry is imminent", Erdogan said in a televised speech on Friday, according to Reuters.

Turkish troops have destroyed water and power stations that supply the town of Afrin, making it hard for people to stay there, Ebrahim said.

USA defense secretary Jim Mattis warned Damascus on Sunday against the use of poison gas as a weapon against civilians in Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.

Regime forces have taken control of around 60 percent of Eastern Ghouta since launching their offensive on February 18. "And I think President Trump made that very clear early in his administration".

Trump struck Syrian government forces in Syria last April after a suspected gas attack targeted the town of Khan Sheikhoun. The Pentagon chief said there are many reports about Chlorine use or symptoms that could be a result of the gas.

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