Syrian state TV broadcast images of the government assault targeting an arc of four militant-held areas ringing Damascus' southern flank, including the Yarkmouk camp, once home to the world's largest Palestinian refugee community.SOHR reports that the terrorists laid down their arms and took the opportunity for free passage
By Thursday, a deal giving the militants safe passage had broken down before Islamic State's refusal to leave, activists said.
Syrian and Russian warplanes were soon crisscrossing Damascus' skies on their way to bomb the rebel-held territories. They were joined by the pounding of artillery and rockets.
"The Syrian army is now smashing the defensive line of the armed terrorist groups and conducting attacks inside," a state TV correspondent, said in a live broadcast Friday from what was said to be the outskirts of the Islamic State-held Al Hajar Al-Aswad district.
Later, he said there were reports that a ceasefire was about to be put in place but was waiting on the rebels to submit fully to the terms of a deal that would see most of them depart to the opposition-controlled province of Idlib in Syria's northwest or to the eastern desert region still under Islamic State's sway.
Those who chose to lay down their arms could stay, he added.
“The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition watchdog monitoring the violence in Syria using a network of activists, reported on Friday that Islamic State representatives had relented and had accepted the evacuation agreement.”
The UN sheds it’s usual crocodile tears for civilians- I’m quite certain they don’t care at all.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement Friday that the agency was "deeply concerned about the fate of civilians"
Onto that NGO- or as I always like to call them No Good Organzation- The White Helmets
At a Thursday press briefing, journalists asked US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert for an update on the late-March freeze of $200 million earmarked for the recovery of Syria – and if that means Washington will be withholding payments to the White Helmets.
Nauert opened her response with a gushing comment about the organization. "We recognize and appreciate and are very grateful for all the work that the White Helmets continues to do on behalf of the people of their country and on behalf of the US Government and all the coalition forces. They're doing incredible work in rescuing in some cases, and in other cases it's recovery efforts. They're an incredible group of individuals," she said.
Moreover, she said she "just exchanged emails with them the other day." Finally cornered into giving a direct answer, she said "As far as I'm aware, all of the work still continues. Peoples' bills are still being paid."US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert yesterday: we "are very grateful for all the work the White Helmets continue to do.. on behalf of the US government and coalition forces.. I just exchanged emails with them the other day... peoples bills are still being paid..' pic.twitter.com/zOoFH9vVYw— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 20, 2018
You can, of course, watch the State Department talking head Heather Nauert make her statement at the twitter link - She made it very clear US contributions to the group are still being paid
Flashback to last friday's post: Russia accuses UK of organizing alleged Syria gas attack
Related to the earlier interview from today and last week:
The White Helmets are officially (but not really) neutral in the Syrian conflict, but they receive funding from several western governments, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. The British government was initially the group's largest source of funding.