Syrian troops have effectively split eastern Ghouta into three parts by sealing off two large towns, Douma and Harasta. The advance is seen as a significant development in the bloody conflict in the region.

Destruction in Syria

Destruction in Syria Photo Credit: via Wikimedia Commons

The Syrian Army has successfully sealed off two large towns in eastern Ghouta, a significant advancement in the bloody conflict in the region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday.

By sealing off Douma and Harasta, the Syrian troops effectively split the rebel-held region into three parts, isolating each one. Meanwhile, Syrian state TV reported that the battles in eastern Ghouta have intensified. The two largest rebel groups in the area, Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman, have yet to comment on the report, Reuters stated today.

In the past three weeks, over 900 people have been killed in eastern Ghouta, according to the UK-based monitoring group. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi spoke about the situation and suffering in the region while in Beirut on Friday. According to him, the eastern Ghouta residents’ suffering is “a symbol of how catastrophic this conflict has become for the civilians.”

“The choice of the people in Ghouta is either to get out – and they don’t know what’s happening when they get out of Ghouta – or to stay and be under the bombs,” he stated. “How much worse can it get for any human being? It is truly appalling.”

Grandi added that while most of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon have expressed a desire to return to their home country, “almost all of them say not right now” and any plans of them returning are “very premature.”