The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) recent gains in the farm lands of the Rif Dimashq Governate known as the “East Ghouta” has created a tremendous amount of apprehension for Jaysh Al-Islam fighters entrenched in the area. With the 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard pushing towards the liberation of the vital Jobar District, Jaysh Al-Islam finds itself surrounded in the areas once considered untouchable for the SAA.

Yesterday, the 105th Brigade liberated the rebel-stronghold of Wadi ‘Ayn Tarma, capturing the entire valley and 8 square kilometers around the neighboring villages. The success of this operation was contingent on the Syrian Air Force’s persistent aerial bombardments with bunker busters in order to obstruct the rebel’s underground supply routes. Once the underground tunnels were exposed and obstructed by the 105th Brigade, Jaysh Al-Islam was forced to retreat east, while the Republican Guards crossed the Barada River.

According to a military source, nearly 180 Jaysh Al-Islam fighters were reportedly killed during this one month long siege of Wadi ‘Ayn Tarma. Among the dead militants was the Jaysh Al-Islam field commander of operations in Wadi ‘Ayn Tarma, ‘Abdel-Majid Al-Sayyid ‘Ali. His body was discovered among the fighters attempting to retreat from the area yesterday – he possessed a Syrian identification card.

Others dead Jaysh Al-Islam fighters identified in Wadi ‘Ayn Tarma:

1. Mohammad Rashid Al-Halabi
2. Fu`aad Tillaawi (Jaysh Al-Islam Field Commander)
3. Yunus Qubaaju
4. Nabeeh ‘Asaafira (Palestinian)
5. ‘Umar Al-Najjaar
6. Raashid Hijaazi
7. ‘Abdul-Mu’een Al-Naqqaad
8. Basheer Mayaasa
9. Anas Al-Rooz Abu ‘Ali
10. Hassoun Fakhraddine
11. Mohammad Maheealdeen
12. Nayyam Al-Ghabra
13. Bassam Al-Sayyid Hassan

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In Jobar, the Republican Guard now controls 70% of the district, as the Jaysh Al-Islam fighters are encircled in the area. The 105th Brigade has advanced to the Maysaloun Roundabout, where they are currently engaging Jaysh Al-Islam militants in the surrounding neighborhoods. If Jaysh Al-Islam loses Parliament Square in the coming days, the siege of the Jobar District will be complete.

Fierce firefights have been reported from the city of Harasta, where Jaysh Al-Islam fighters broke a ceasefire agreement with the National Defense Forces (NDF). As a result, the SAA has begun an operation to thwart the militants from the city. The SAA captured multiple lab facilities earlier today and a multitude of building blocks from Jaysh Al-Islam fighters.

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