Syrian forces regain full control of Damascus

The Syrian military on Monday drove Islamic State fighters out of a stronghold in southern Damascus, giving the government full control of the capital city and its suburbs for the first time since civil war broke out in 2011. The victory came after a month of fighting that left the enclave in ruins. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces will now focus on rebel territory in southern Syria. A monitoring group said that 1,600 people, including hundreds of ISIS militants, left southern Damascus on Saturday and Sunday, and went toward the eastern desert after reaching a deal with the Syrian government. The gains came as Iran, which has backed militias providing critical support for Assad’s overstretched forces, faces mounting pressure from the Trump administration to get out of Syria.

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