In post-war areas of Syria, mines upend civilian lives | AFP

In the Eastern Ghouta region just outside Damascus, soldiers sweep a hamlet and surrounding fields for hidden explosives, more than a year after rebels were ousted.

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A slow road to recovery for East Ghouta’s farmlands | AFP

The former opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta was once the breadbasket of Damascus, providing rich harvests of apricots and vegetables to the capital. But a five-year siege by Damascus and an intense bombing campaign that drove out opposition forces from the area last year has taken its toll on farmlands and crops.

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Christmas joy missing in rubble of Syria town

With Christmas approaching, Nabil al-Aash dusts off religious books as he attempts to tidy up the war-scarred Saint George Church in the town of Arbin, northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus. Retaken in the spring by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad during a brutal offensive to capture the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, Arbin is anything but festive.

Traditional aubergine meal back on the table in Eastern Ghouta

A Syrian family in the northwestern Damascus suburb of Qudsaya prepares a traditional eggplant dish called “Makdous”, a famous recipe they can once again enjoy after eggplants started growing again in Eastern Ghouta and access to ingredients became available following years of conflict where supplies were low.

Syrian artists transform militant-built tunnels into sculpture galleries

Formerly a hiding place for militants, the underground tunnels in Syria’s liberated Eastern Ghouta are now transformed into an artistic exhibition. Their walls are being turned into sculptures with scenes of battle and bravery. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9c29

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Syrian army strikes against remaining ISIS in southern Damascus

Heavy shelling struck the district of al-Hajar al-Aswad, to the south of Damascus on Saturday, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) worked to gain further ground against the remaining members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) still in the capital.
The offensive comes after the Syrian military announced the full recapture of Eastern Ghouta from militants late last month.

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Russian military finds alleged chemical weapons lab in Douma

An alleged chemical arsenal was discovered by Russian servicemen in the basement of a high-rise apartment building in the Eastern Ghouta city of Douma on Tuesday.
A statement by the Russian Ministry of Defence reports that chemicals such as chlorine, thiodiglycol and diethylamide were found.
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Investigators to probe alleged chemical attack in Douma

Images of destruction in Eastern Ghouta’s main town of Douma, showing a labyrinth of tunnels left behind by rebel fighters. International investigators have entered the town hit by an alleged chemical attack, after days of delay and warnings by Western powers that crucial evidence had likely been removed.

What Syrians Think About The U.S.’s Military Strikes (HBO)

Hundreds of Syrians took to the streets of central Damascus today to show support for President Assad. This came after the U.S., France and the U.K. launched some 105 missiles on a chemical research this weekend on targets near the capital and Homs destroying three targets.
President Trump declared “Mission Accomplished” and described the strikes as“perfectly executed.” But Assad projected a business-as-usual veneer on social media, posting a nine-second video of himself walking through the presidential palace carrying a briefcase.
Analysts in the region say strikes like these could ultimately embolden the regime along with his Russian and Iranian allies rather than deter more attacks on civilians.
“Assad is in a much stronger situation than he was before,” Elias Farhat, a retired Lebanese general and Syria analyst said, “because he is, according to his people, is a hero who confronted the Israeli attack on the airfield and now American and European attack.”
But for the evacuees who lived in Eastern Ghouta and escaped this latest chemical attack in Douma, the US response seems meaningless.
“It’s too late for that [US airstrikes],” Abu Hasan, a recently evacuated Douma resident told VICE News, “after all these deaths, including children…but we blame them [the USA]|for not taking timely action.”

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Syria regime organises press tour of Eastern Ghouta’s Douma

Syrian authorities take foreign journalists on a press tour of Eastern Ghouta’s main town of Douma, where a gas attack on April 7 killed at least 40 people, shortly before regime forces retook control of the former rebel-held town. The tour included the town’s main hospital to which the victims of the alleged chemical attack were transported.

RAW: Russian military police start patrolling streets of Douma, Syria

Russian military police could be seen patrolling the streets of Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on Thursday, to ensure the civilians life in the war-torn city returns back to normal. The military police was deployed in Douma with the aim to uphold legal order and to provide assistance for the locals, in addition to ensuring security.

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Syria: Eastern Ghouta residents rediscover sweets, cigarettes

After five years under a siege imposed by the Syrian regime, people in Eastern Ghouta’s Arbin rediscover sweets, fruits, and cheap cigarettes,after the town was recaptured from rebels. Backed by Russia, Syrian troops have captured nearly all of the one-time opposition stronghold with a combination of ferocious bombing raids and negotiated withdrawals.

Aid enters Syria’s rebel enclave in Ghouta

A new convoy carries desperately-needed food into Eastern Ghouta as Syria’s war enters its eighth year with the regime pursuing a relentless assault on the rebel enclave near Damascus. As volunteers were distributing food parcels from the trucks, mortar rounds hit near the convoy and sent aid workers scrambling for cover, an AFP correspondent there said. They were able to resume delivery shortly after, with columns of smoke emerging in the cloudy sky overhead.

Hundreds of civilians evacuated from E. Ghouta during ceasefire – Russian military

Reports now of a significant development in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus. Hundreds of civilians are now leaving the area controlled by rebel and terror groups via a humanitarian corridor established by Russia and Syria. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/914j

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Syria aid convoy pauses temporarily as mortars hit nearby

A new convoy carrying desperately needed food aid entered the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Syria’s capital on Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross told AFP. As volunteers were distributing food parcels from the trucks, mortar rounds hit near the convoy and sent aid workers scrambling for cover, an AFP correspondent there said. They were able to resume delivery shortly after, with columns of smoke emerging in the cloudy sky overhead. IMAGES

Syrians evacuated from Ghouta fear for family left inside

At a shelter outside Syria’s battered Eastern Ghouta, civilians evacuated by the army from the rebel enclave are wracked with anguish over the loved ones they left behind. Regime forces have advanced steadily inside Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the capital since launching a deadly assault on the rebel enclave more than three weeks ago.

RAW: Syrian army makes further gains in E. Ghouta’s Harasta

The Syrian Arab Army has made gains in the Eastern Ghouta town of Harasta, footage captured on Monday shows. The advance followed the seizure of militant-controlled Mudayrah by the SAA’s elite Tiger Forces Division on Sunday.

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