Earlier today, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured the Badia Cement Factory and Khan Abut Shamat Base (marked in dark red on the map) after a brief skirmish with ISIS fighters in eastern Damascus.
Meanwhile, Jaish al-Islam rebels and Islamic State militants are engaged in heavy clashes inside the town of Dumayr. Currently, the town is roughly controlled 50/50; however, ISIS fighters are completely cut off from receiving new supplies or reinforcements.
Remarkably, this region has witnessed a lasting local ceasefire between rebels and the SAA. Furthermore, for the first time in five years, rebel fighters and government troops are cooperating against a bigger foe; namely ISIS.
Thus, commanders of Jaish al-Islam and the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Ahmad al-Abdo Martyrs Brigade have exchanged phone numbers with local SAA commanders as the latter has provided rebel forces with much required air cover when needed in their clashes with ISIS.
Meanwhile, SAA troops of the 120th Brigade & 81st Brigade of the 2nd Division – backed by National Defence Forces (NDF) – are slowly advancing eastwards en route to the Sayqal Airbase which has been encircled by ISIS fighters for some time.
Thereby, both Syrian rebels and government soldiers are attempting to drive ISIS back into the eastern deserts of Syria. However, it seems highly unlikely that the Islamic State will surrender the area easily as it marks ISIS’ only genuine way of reaching the Syrian capital.