Russian Military Police Help Assad Take Control of Town Hit by Chemical Attack

Dozens were killed in the gas attack last week. Russia deploys military police to help guarantee 'law and order'

A child receiving treatment following an alleged poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Damascus, Syria, April 8, 2018
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Syrian government forces have taken full control over the town of Douma, the last rebel stronghold in the eastern Ghouta enclave outside Damascus, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday, citing a Russian military official. 

"The raised state flag over a building in the town of Douma has heralded the control over this location and therefore over the whole of eastern Ghouta," Major-General Yuri Yevtushenko, head of the Russian peace and reconciliation center in Syria, was quoted as saying.

Russian military police prepare to enter Syria's DoumaReuters

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Russian military police have been deployed in the Syrian town of Douma as of Thursday, RIA news agency reported, citing Russia's defence ministry.

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"They are the guarantors of law and order in the town," the ministry was quoted as saying.

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Douma was the final rebel bastion in eastern Ghouta to relent in an erosive government campaign to retake the enclave in the 8-year Syrian civil war. Rebels began evacuating the town Monday night following a suspected chemical attack which has reportedly killed dozens of people. 

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Many powers in the West have called for an inquiry of the attack, and hold Bashar Assad's regime and the Kremlin responsible for it. Both have denied involvement, and encouraged independant probes into the matter.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump's militant rhetoric regarding Syria ratcheted up tensions in the wartorn region, as the Kremlin promised to respond to any aggression against Syria and its own forces.