The Syrian army on Sunday effectively split the rebel-held areas in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus into three sectors, laying a siege on a major rebel bastion, according to the War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army.
Following days of intense battles, the Syrian army tightened the noose on the rebels inside Eastern Ghouta, storming the town of Medyara on Sunday, the only link to be taken for the Syrian forces advancing from the east to reach the army units in the city of Harasta in the western part of Ghouta.
With this progress, the Eastern Ghouta is sliced into three sectors, the city of Harasta in the west is besieged, and the Douma district, the major rebel bastion in the northern part of Eastern Ghouta, has also become besieged from all directions.
In the south, several towns and areas are surrounded.
The Syrian army has captured 52 percent of Eastern Ghouta in recent days, as part of an ongoing wide-scale offensive to dislodge the rebels from that key area on the eastern rim of Damascus.
Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural region consisting of several towns and farmlands, poses the last threat to the capital due to its proximity to government-controlled neighborhoods east of Damascus and ongoing mortar attacks that target residential areas in the capital, pushing people over the edge.
Four major rebel groups are currently positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Levant Liberation Committee, known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.
The UN humanitarian agencies have sounded the alarm about the worsening humanitarian situation for 400,000 people in that region, where activists said around 1,000 people have been killed since late last month by the heavy bombardment and military showdown in areas of Eastern Ghouta.