Major Syrian regime offensive 'expected' in Eastern Ghouta's Douma as rebels refuse to evacuate
Elsewhere in Eastern Ghouta rebels are leaving the area for Idlib following a withdrawal deal that has seen tens of thousands of civilians and fighters bused out of the once-strong rebel-held enclave.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces now control at least 90 per cent of the Damascus suburb.
“The forces deployed in Ghouta are preparing a huge military operation in Douma if the Jaysh al-Islam terrorists do not agree to hand over the city and depart,” the pro-regime al-Watan newspaper said.
"These two days will be decisive," a Syrian regime official told Reuters, without giving further details.
Jaysh al-Islam on Tuesday accused Damascus and Moscow of trying to empty out Eastern Ghouta and force demographic changes.
To date, about 121,000 have left Eastern Ghouta -- which had been home to 400,000 -- since the regime offensive began, Russia's UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya told a Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
"History will not be kind when it judges the effectiveness of this council in relieving the suffering of the Syrian people," she said.
More than 1600 civilians have been killed since the Syrian regime, with Russian backing, began its air and ground offensive in Eastern Ghouta.
Most observers expect Eastern Ghouta to follow the same trajectory as Eastern Aleppo in 2016 -- which fell under Assad's control after a devastating offensive that left thousands of civilians dead from regime fire.
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