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Syria forces uncover tunnels, underground hospitals used by militants in Eastern Ghouta

This photo, provided by Syria’s Joint Operations Command Center, shows a tunnel discovered by Syrian military forces in the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on March 27, 2018.

Syrian military forces have discovered a network of long tunnels as well as underground makeshift field hospitals once used by foreign-sponsored militants, who controlled Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Army soldiers and pro-government fighters from popular defense groups found the secret tunnels and hospitals during wide-scale clear-up operations in the towns of Hazza and Ein Tarma, located three kilometers east of Old Damascus, on Monday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

A Syrian military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said terrorists used the tunnels to carry munitions and transfer reinforcements between Hazza and the towns of Saqba, located 7 kilometers east of central Damascus, Arbin. Harasta and Zamalka.

Syrian army troopers and their allies also found large stocks of medical supplies, makeshift operating tables and surgical gowns.

Another Syrian military official said the medical equipment had been stolen from government-run hospitals and clinics, adding that terrorists used the medicine to treat their injured fellows.

Syrian army's engineering units later placed explosives inside the tunnels and underground hospitals, and destroyed them.

Hundreds of civilians leave last militant bastion in Eastern Ghouta

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces have secured the safe exit of hundreds of civilians from Douma city, located about 10 kilometers northeast of Damascus.

The evacuees, whom Takfiri terror groups were using as human shields, left the enclave through the humanitarian corridor leading to al-Wafideen Camp.

SANA reported that most of the refugees are women, children and elderly people, who were received by members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and army troops, before being transported to makeshift accommodation centers, which they were supplied with basic commodities.

Eight of the evacuated people are reportedly in critical situation, whom will be shifted to Damascus to receive due medical treatment.

Aleppo residents protest Turkish aggression, US interference in Syria affairs

Separately, thousands of people have staged a rally in the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo to express their resent over Turkey’s cross-border military operation inside the Kurdish-populated Afrin region, and denounce the US Meddling in Syria’s domestic affairs.

The protesters carried signs in condemnation of Turkey’s offensive, calling on the Ankara government to immediately withdraw its troops from Afrin. They also asked Washington to put an end to its meddlesome policies towards Syria.

They highlighted that what Turkey, the US and some Western countries are doing vis-à-vis Syria constitute an assault on Syria’s sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international law.

The demonstrators, who had gathered at Saadallah al-Jabiri Square, also expressed confidence that Turkish military forces and their allied militants would be eventually defeated by Syrian army soldiers.

On January 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin against members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

This is while US officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the group.

The controversy over a possible Syria border force first started on January 14 when a report emerged on Reuters saying that the military coalition led by the United States in Syria was planning to set up a large border force of up to 30,000 personnel with the aid of its militia allies.

The Syrian government has already condemned the Turkish offensive against Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.

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