Syrian government forces have taken control of the city of Douma from rebels forces, Interfax reported citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
“A significant event in Syria's history took place today. The state flag hoisted over a building in Douma signifies control over this populated locality and Eastern Ghouta as a whole,” Major-General Yury Yevtushenko told reporters.

The ministry also said that 250 hostages held by the rebels were freed in the operation.

The area of Eastern Ghouta has been under siege by the Syrian government since 2013 and subject to relentless bombing since February 2018.

The latest strike occured on Saturday, where the suburb of Douma suffered a chemical attack with 500 people showing symptoms of being poisoned and having trouble to breathe. On Sunday, the rebel fighters agreed to hand over the area to the government.

Although Assad's government and his Russian allies denied using chemical weapons, the US administration firmly believes they are to blame.

US President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria in response to the suspected poison gas attack. He used Twitter to warn “missiles will be coming”.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May summoned an emergency cabinet meeting for Thursday and announced she does not rule out committing the UK to join coordinated military action with the US in Syria.

Oil prices increased as tensions in the Middle East increased. The price of Brent crude rose to $73, levels not seen since 2014.

“Oil markets have already priced in the threat of disruption to supplies, Brent crude spiking above $73 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Even without Syria, there is plenty to underpin oil prices right now, not least missiles from Yemen targeting Saudi Arabia and possible US sanctions against key producer Iran over its nuclear programme,” said Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor.


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