BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:50 P.M) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched an offensive on reported so-called Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS, ISIL) positions south of Damascus on Thursday, footage filmed in the al-Hajar al-Aswad district reveals.

The bombardment comes following a failed round of negotiations with the militants which resulted in a 48-hour ultimatum.

Footage shows government forces firing machine guns and shelling IS positions as smoke billows from targets which were struck.

The shelling took place around the Yarmouk Camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad, a town 2mi (4km) from Damascus, in an effort to clear the remaining pockets of IS militants south of the capital.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the location was a hotspot for munitions and organisational centres for the militants.

Should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad recapture the district, it would force IS into their two remaining enclaves in the southwest and northeast of the country.

It would also signify the complete recapture of the capital, bar one district, from militants after opposition forces agreed to withdraw from strongholds earlier in the week.

Video credit: Ruptly

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