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After years of having secret access to the East Ghouta rebel heartland, besieged insurgents inside the Al-Qabun and Barzeh neighbourhoods are now fully cutoff after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) demolished a network of tunnels unearthed beneath government-held sections of the Harasta-Douma highway.

After capturing the entire groves area between Harasta and Al-Qabun earlier in the day, the SAA’s 4th Mechanized Division and 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard also took control of the Al-Wawi Mosque and Al-Noor driving school on Sunday evening.

Upon entering this woody region, Syrian government forces were astonished to discover a number of tunnels leading directly eastwards towards the Islamist stronghold of Douma. Shortly after, SAA engineers destroyed all the tunnels upon direct order by Brigadier General Ali Mahmoud and Colonel Ghayath Galla.

The tunnels are believed to have been constructed shortly after the SAA signed a truce deal in 2014, restoring calm to the rebel-held Al-Qabun and Barzeh districts.

With opposition forces bogged down in eastern Damascus and no longer able to receive food and weapons from the East Ghouta, a surrender deal facilitating a departure to Idlib province is becoming ever more likely with each moon that passes.

Pictures of the demolished tunnels:

Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News