Syrian government forces used warplanes, helicopters and artillery on Sunday to pound districts of the capital held by the Islamic State group, in a bid to enforce an evacuation deal reached with the militants earlier in the week. Last Saturday, the withdrawal of militants from the city of Duma, located in the area of Eastern Ghouta, was completed.
But the single volley of air strikes, hitting three targets far from any frontline, had no effect on the wider war which has killed 500,000 people and made more than half of Syrians homeless.
The Syrian government and its ally Russian Federation denied responsibility for the suspected chemical attack. The Western countries say the Syrian government, which now controls the town, is keeping the inspectors out and may be tampering with evidence, both accusations Damascus and Moscow deny.
Physicians for Human Rights, a USA -based rights group, voiced "grave concern" over reports that Douma hospital staff had faced "extreme intimidation" after the area came back under government control to stop them talking about the incident.
This followed a week of escalations by pro-government forces against the Daesh-held Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood and Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus.
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Military sources reported that government troops will continue their operations in that area until the terorists accept the army's conditions of surrendering and leaving for desert areas. The Observatory said it was because some of the IS militants still rejected the deal.
UNRWA, the United Nations agency that cares for Palestinians, said two Palestinian refugee civilians - a father and son - had been killed in their home in the nearby Palestinian camp of Yarmouk.
The weapons also included 23mm and 24mm machineguns, Grad rockets, assorted stationary and shoulder-mounted rocket launchers, a large amount of assault rifles, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sniper rifles, artillery pieces, mortar launchers, tank shells, and large amounts of ammo, in addition to IEDs and tools for manufacturing them, state-of-the-art French and American communication devices, binoculars, and night vision goggles.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunnes said that since the start of fighting four days ago, most of the six thousand civilians in Yarmouk camp have been forcibly displaced to the neighboring area of Yalda.
Militants on Saturday began to withdraw from an enclave they held northeast of Damascus in the eastern Qalamoun region in a surrender agreement with the government.