From morning until afternoon today, clashes raged in eastern Damascus as Jaish al-Islam attempted to create some much needed breathing space.
Islamist forces attacked newly fortified government positions at Hawsh Nasri, a village in the East Ghouta which was captured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) last week.
Jaish al-Islam did make some initial headway, seizing several positions inside Hawsh Nasri itself during the morning hours.
However, a source embedded with the SAA’s Republican Guards assured Al-Masdar News that all lost checkpoints had been recovered by government troops during the afternoon.
The source added that 11 insurgents were killed with approximately a dozen more wounded; the casualties were exclusively inflicted by armored vehicles.
Nevertheless, a spokesman of Jaish al-Islam said rebel fighters had destroyed one T-72 tank along with a BMP during the clashes.
Neither side mentioned today’s SAA death toll.
Hawsh Nasri represents a gateway into Douma, a major Islamist stronghold just east of Damascus which has been under Jaish al-Islam rule since 2012.
Around half the East Ghouta rebel pocket has evaporated over the past three years as government soldiers have gradually rolled back insurgent gains in the Syrian capital.
Hundreds of SAA tanks and thousands of Republican Guards are tied up in Damascus, making it a major priority for the SAA’s Military High Command.