Russian Military Police are being sent Douma, Syria, where now that the previous anti-regime rebel inhabitants have fled or been killed, the Assad regime intends to take control with aid from their Russian counterparts. Russia’s Defense Ministry released a statement that said, “Under the auspices of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation and the Syria Arab Army, 41,312 people, including 3,354 insurgents and 8,642 their family members have left Douma.” The Russian military later revealed that the regime flag was being flown all over the city.
Douma was the last bastion of resistance for the Syrian rebels combating the regime. It is located near Damascus and nearly 165,123 people fled after the chemical attacks — this includes around 20,398 “insurgents” plus their families. The majority of these displaced people fled to Jarabulus, according to state-run Syrian news agencies. Jarabulus and Aleppo as a whole are controlled by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Syrian Arab Army. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights acknowledged that the rebels were permitted entry to the Aleppo based village of al-Bab this week. Jarabulus and the surrounding towns were previously under the control of Turkish supported proxy Free Syrian Army fighters in 2017.
It is suspected that when Douma was attacked, chlorine gas was used, killing 50 people in a single strike. An investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is scheduled to take place, a move that Russia openly supported while the United States and western allies are calling for an independent investigation. The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss the current events, but President Donald trump has openly warned Russia to prepare for a military response to the Assad regime and its “Gas Killing Animal.” The war in Syria has been raging for eight years now and thousands of lives have been lost; it has also created the greatest displacement of people this century, creating mass movements of refugees on an international scale.
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.