Watch Assad drive through the streets of Ghouta (VIDEO)
As he drove a Honda Civic through the streets, Assad explained where he was. “This is al-Nashabiya. It was the first city to be liberated by the Syrian Arab Army since the start of military operations three weeks ago in Ghouta,” he said.
Syrian forces regained control of the area at the start of March. “This city was heavily fortified, it was considered an advanced line towards the eastern side of Ghouta, it took several days to liberate it, but the defeat of the terrorists was great, the liberation of al-Nashabiya allowed the liberation of the rest of Ghouta.”
The Syrian leader was on his way to meet troops and some civilians in eastern Ghouta. He drove from Damascus. This was his first time visiting the area in years.
“Here we can see civilians beginning to clean schools, they are not teachers, but this indicates a high level of [public] consciousness,” Assad said as he drove past a school.
While Syrian and Russian troops have captured as much as 80 percent of eastern Ghouta, parts of Damascus suburb remain under control of armed jihadist groups. On Sunday, over 25,000 people escaped areas of the city through humanitarian corridors.