The Syrian regime says it has retaken the last neighbourhoods in southern Damascus held by Daesh and declared the capital and its surroundings "completely safe" from militants for the first time in nearly seven years.

Syrian regime forces stand in front of a destroyed building at the entrance of the Hajar al Aswad district on the southern outskirts of Damascus on May 21, 2018, after the Syrian regime forces announced it was in complete control of the capital and its outskirts for the first time since 2012, after ousting Daesh from a last pocket of resistance.
Syrian regime forces stand in front of a destroyed building at the entrance of the Hajar al Aswad district on the southern outskirts of Damascus on May 21, 2018, after the Syrian regime forces announced it was in complete control of the capital and its outskirts for the first time since 2012, after ousting Daesh from a last pocket of resistance. (AFP)

The Syrian regime said on Monday it was in full control of the capital Damascus and its outskirts after ousting Daesh, marking a major milestone in the seven-year war.

"The Syrian army announces today that Damascus, its outskirts and surrounding towns are completely secure," it said in a statement carried on regime-affiliated media.

The development came after regime forces had captured a key southern portion of Damascus from Daesh, the statement said, including the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk and the adjacent district of Hajar al Aswad.

"The wheel of our progress on the battlefield will not stop until all Syrian land is purified," it added.

Syria's war erupted in 2011 with protests against Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, including in the capital.

The following year, the regime began losing control of parts of Damascus and placed a crippling siege around Yarmouk, which lies in the capital's south.

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The regime's announcement came hours after a tenuous evacuation deal saw hundreds of Daesh fighters and their relatives quit Yarmouk, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The regime said a brief ceasefire had allowed one convoy of women and children to leave the pocket in southern Damascus.

Since last year, the Syrian regime has cleared swathes of territory around Damascus from its armed opponents through a blend of military pressure and evacuation deals.

Source: AFP