Sunday, 20 January 2019, 02:06:26 pm
Syrian military pummels IS-held districts in Damascus
April 22, 2018

Syrian government forces used warplanes, helicopters and artillery on Sunday to pound districts of the capital held by the Islamic State group.

The operation was a part of the bid to enforce an evacuation deal reached with the militants earlier in this week.

The militants agreed to give up their last pocket in southern Damascus on Friday but have yet to begin surrendering to government forces and relocating to IS-held areas elsewhere in the country.

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV showed thick gray smoke billowing from the IS-held Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood today, and government warplanes streaking overhead amid heavy bombardment of the area.

Hundreds of IS fighters and allied militants are holed up in Hajar al-Aswad and the nearby Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp.

President Bashar Assad has escalated his military campaign to retake all remaining enclaves in the capital and surrounding areas.