Arab Spring

With Syria's Ghouta area back in government hands, a pseudo-state ends

With Syria's Ghouta area back in government hands, a pseudo-state ends

On a clear day, drivers commuting into Damascus can glimpse the pulverized neighborhoods of the Ghouta area on the eastern flank of the Syrian capital.

Many residents became accustomed to having their morning coffee to the roar of warplanes heading out for the near-daily pounding of Ghouta since its takeover in late 2012 by rebels opposed to the government of President Bashar Assad.

Those living on the city’s outskirts could even see what one resident called a nightly “light show” when hostilities flared up; it also meant they were closer to the rebels’ routine salvo of mortar shells and rockets on central Damascus, a scant six miles away.

But on Saturday, after more...

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