Troops from the Syrian Army discovered a massive militant base underneath the National Hospital in the recently liberated city of Douma in Damascus, according to emerging reports and circulating footage.
Militants from the so-called ‘Jaysh al-Islam’ terrorist group used the facility as a weapons cache and hiding place, potentially using patients in the above hospital as human shields to deter Syrian warplanes from attacking the base, or to trick them into unknowingly striking the hospital to draw in foreign military intervention.
Government forces recently entered the city of Douma after regaining control over it from hardline militants in the East Ghouta region. Douma is where the alleged chemical attack took place earlier this month, prompting the US, the UK and France to strike targets in Syria.
The Syrian Army and allied ground forces regained control over the entirety of Eastern Ghouta after launching operation Damascus Steel several weeks ago.
The area’s liberation is a major boost to the security of the capital, as militants used the region as a launchpad to fire mortars and improvised explosives into government-held parts of the city, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians in recent months.