DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:15 A.M.) – On Sunday, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) retook two villages from Jaish Al-Islam in rural Damascus while around a dozen Islamist militants on both sides died amid the clashes.
With inter-rebel clashes officially restarted as of last week, the Al-Qaeda linked group expelled rival fighters from the towns of Jisreen and Hazzeh.
Meanwhile, skirmishes were observed between the formerly allied rebel factions in the villages of Al-Shari, Al-Aftres, Al-Muhamdiyah and Irbeen.
Ahrar Al-Sham and Failaq Al-Rahman, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) contingent, are also involved in the clashes, fighting alongside Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).
FSA, HTS and Ahrar Al-Sham forces now hope to expel Jaish Al-Islam from all villages in the East Ghouta rebel heartland, forcing the latter Saudi-backed group to withdraw to its capital Douma.