March 16, 2018 / 3:39 PM / 2 years ago

Syrian army has seized 70 percent of Ghouta enclave - statement

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army and allied forces have recaptured 70 percent of the territory that had been under insurgent control in the enclave of eastern Ghouta, it said on Friday.

The military statement said troops had seized swathes of farmland, several villages and some towns. The offensive for Ghouta, the last big rebel bastion near Damascus, began in mid-February.

Thousands of civilians fled from there and from another besieged enclave at the opposite end of Syria on Friday as two battles in the multi-sided war entered decisive phases.

Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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