Last week, the Syrian Arab Army began their military operations in the strategic village of ‘Adra in the Rif Dimashq Governate. ‘Adra is the industrial capital of the province, due to its abundance of factories and plants that occupy the majority of land inside the village. The village was captured during the SAA’s winter offensive in the Qalamoun Mountains; its proximity to the rebel stronghold, Douma, makes it even more imperative to the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command.
When the SAA began their operation in ‘Adra, the Industrial Area was under Jabhat Al-Islamiyya control; however, after fierce clashes, the Syrian Army was able to secure the Steel Factory, the ‘Adra Petrol Station, the Detergent Plant, and the ‘Adra Bakery. According to a military source, two of the leaders of Jabhat Al-Islamiyya were killed during the battle: Hani Al-Moussa and ‘Anad Al-Helmi. He further added that many of the enemy combatants did not carry any identification, leaving him to believe that most were foreigners.
Yesterday, in east ‘Adra, violent firefights broke-out between members of Jabhat Al-Islamiyya and the Syrian Arab Army, leading to the subsequent capture of Tal Sawaan by the SAA. Casualties were high on both sides, as Jabhat Al-Islamiyya lost almost 50 fighters in the battle; while, 29 SAA soldiers were killed at Tal Sawaan.
Following the capture of Tal Sawaan, the SAA advanced to the Chemical Factory where they were met with fierce resistance from the opposition. The area was declared under full Syrian Army control around 6:30 P.M. Damascus Time, when the Jabhat Al-Islamiyya contingent fighting at the factory retreated east. According to a military source, 13 SAA soldiers and 6 NDF fighters were lost during the battle. Meanwhile, the enemy combatants suffered over 30 casualties during the firefight at the ‘Adra Chemical Factory.
Earlier today, the Syrian Arab Army – backed by the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) – advanced to the district center of Old ‘Adra, killing 22 militants and taking control of 3 building blocks. The battle is still ongoing between the Islamic Front and the SAA/PLA; if the SAA can take control of Old ‘Adra, this will open a path to the heavily fortified New ‘Adra.