Air Strikes Pound Insurgent Enclave Close to Damascus

(From Reuters)

Air strikes pounded an insurgent-held area near Damascus on Sunday, footage broadcast by state TV stations showed, as the Syrian government stepped up efforts to wipe out the insurgency’s last foothold near the capital.

Thick clouds of smoke rose from the al-Hajar al-Aswad district as the sound of jets could be heard overhead in the live broadcasts from the area.

The area is part of an enclave just south of Damascus that includes the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk and is controlled by jihadist insurgents from Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, is seeking to crush the last few besieged rebel enclaves, building on the defeat of insurgents in the eastern Ghouta region, which was the rebels’ last major stronghold near the capital.

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