Bomb near mosque in Syrian capital kills 1, wounds 6

Backed by Russia, Syrian troops had captured all of the one-time opposition stronghold of Ghouta - except for Douma, its largest town which is held by the Jaish al-Islam Islamist faction. "No one will be able to twist the army of the Syrian Arab Army", said a state TV reporter as sporadic explosions could be heard in the background. Al-Manar TV is run by Lebanon's Hezbollah group that has sent thousands of fighters to Syria to back government forces.

Syrian state TV said rebels fired mortar shells into Damascus killing two people and wounding others. SCMM said the area controlled by the Army of Islam in and around Douma is 19 square kilometers (7.3 square miles). "The positions of the Syrian government troops have also been attacked with the use of small arms", the Russian Defense Ministry's statement read. "The intensity of the fire is growing", center's commander Maj.

Six civilians were killed on Saturday in mortar shelling of residential neighbourhoods of the capital Damascus, and 38 others were injured, Syrian state media reported, accusing Jaish al-Islam of the attacks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two people were killed and 25 wounded in the airstrikes that hit Douma on Friday afternoon, while Douma-based media activist Haitham Bakkar said at least four people were killed and many others wounded. State media denied the reports saying "such farces about chemical weapons" were triggered by the troops' quick push toward Douma.

The monitor told AFP it could not specify the reason for the symptoms, but the White Helmets rescue forces said Douma had been hit with toxic gas.

Regime forces have captured almost all of Ghouta with a combination of ferocious bombing raids, which started on February 18, and negotiated withdrawals.

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Moscow stepped in to negotiate a deal for Douma, the third and final pocket where Jaish al-Islam had been angling for a reconciliation agreement that would allow them to stay as a police force.

SANA said they faltered when Jaish al-Islam refused to release detainees they were holding in Douma, adding that the military assault would only stop if hostages are released.

Army of Islam official Ammar al-Hassan told The Associated Press that he has no information on whether the truce collapsed. "This is something that we categorically reject".

A commander in the regional military alliance that backs Assad said Jaish al-Islam's only option was to accept safe passage to rebel-held areas northeast of Aleppo as talks overseen by Russian Federation had collapsed.

More than 42,000 rebels and civilians are evacuated to Idlib. "We've been waiting for this for years, whether in Ghouta or in Damascus", said Abbas.

SANA said on Friday that 50,000 of the people of Eastern Ghouta returned to their homes.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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