In the past two months, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary) have captured some 15 villages and towns in the East Ghouta in what seems to be a major push to retake Damascus and defeat the capital’s Islamist rebels once and for all.
Most recently, government troops have seized the towns of Al-Bahariyah and Maydaa while securing most of Mid’anah village, located on the far eastern East Ghouta flank.
The three largest Islamist rebel groups in the East Ghouta, namely Jaish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda affiliated group) have been plagued by infighting although a new ceasefire between the factions seems to be holding amid government advances.
Nevertheless, the next major target of the SAA is believed to be Al-Nashabiyah, the largest Islamist stronghold on the eastern flank of the East Ghouta.
If this town is taken, government troops will be able to push through terrain mostly made up of sparsely populated farms and forests.