DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – The Syrian army continues its counter-terrorism operation in the Eastern Ghouta region, from where terrorists launch deadly attacks on civilians in the capital, Damascus.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which is sympathetic to the anti-Damascus terrorists, also confirmed intense fighting on several fronts in Eastern Ghouta on Sunday.
The fresh fighting came one day after Syrian troops managed to cut off the largest town in Eastern Ghouta from the rest of the terrorist-held enclave.
Government "forces have therefore divided Eastern Ghouta into three parts, Douma and its surroundings, Harasta in the west, and the rest of the towns further south,” according to the SOHR.
Holed up inside Eastern Ghouta, foreign-backed terrorists have been launching indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks on Damascus, which have resulted in many civilian deaths.
The Syrian army, backed by the Russian air force, is conducting an operation to liberate the region from the grip of terrorists.
Syria has established a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to leave the operation zone, while Russia has been enforcing daily pauses in fighting to facilitate people's exit.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Western allegations pertaining to the Syrian government launching chemical attacks on terrorists-held areas are "fake news."
Putin made the remarks in an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly in which he stressed that the Syrian government had destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile a long time ago.
Syria turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
He added that such attacks were carried out by the terrorists themselves but they blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"All the attempts that have been made repeatedly in the recent past, and all the accusations were used to consolidate the efforts against Assad,” he added.
Putin also noted that so far there had been no thorough investigation into chemical weapons-related incidents in Syria.
"Russia is for a full-scale investigation. If you do not know this, I am telling you this now. It is not true that we are against an objective investigation. That is a lie,” he noted.
Earlier in the day, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad rejected claims that the Arab country’s military used chemical weapons in an area near the capital Damascus, saying terrorists and their supporters should be held accountable for any such incident.