Syrians demand expulsion of militants from Damascus outskirts

Hundreds of people have staged a protest on the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, to express their frustration with the presence of anti-Damascus militants in the region as government forces gain more ground there.

The residents of Beit Sahem, Yalda and Babbila took to the streets on Friday, demanding that armed groups leave their towns, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.

According to local sources, the demonstrators also called for reconciliations with the Syrian government that consolidate regional security and stability.

The protesters further stressed their commitment to Syria’s national unity, noting that terrorism has brought nothing but destruction and devastation to their homeland.

Members of the Jaysh al-Ababil militnat group opened fire to disperse the participants at Friday’s rally, the local sources said.

Under increasing battlefield pressure, members of the al-Nusra Front terrorist outfit lately agreed to surrender Syria’s southwestern areas and move to Idlib Province.

A Syrian military source told Reuters on Friday that the Nusra Front and its allies are now the target of the Syrian army’s counter-terrorism operation in the provinces of Hama and Idlib.

“The army’s operations there are continuing and the army is achieving advances. The terrorists (are facing) big losses in the area,” he said.

The US and its allies have been supporting the militants fighting to topple the Syrian government since an armed conflict erupted in Syria in 2011.

Recently, the anti-Damascus elements have suffered heavy blows at the hands of the Syrian and allied forces.

Iran has been offering Syria advisory military help, while Russia provides army operations with air cover.

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