Syrian forces are abandoning positions in the capital of Damascus and hunkering down in military compounds north of the city in anticipation of U.S. missile strikes in the country.
Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad began transporting heavy weapons and equipment from locations in central Damascus, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The military’s central headquarters, along with military command and control stations in the capital were also abandoned in preparation for the looming U.S. offensive.
Artillery batteries based in Damascus, used to fire on rebel positions around the country, were also found abandoned, according to local residents.
Former Syrian Army Brig. Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh told Reuters that Assad’s general staff and other senior military leaders had relocated to fortified compounds in the foothills of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains north of Damascus.