BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:11 A.M.) – Assault units of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have wrested control of the long-standing militant stronghold town of Ar-Rayhan in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.
The government victory comes after two weeks of savage firefights between the Syrian Army and seasoned rebel fighters of the Jaysh al-Islam faction in and around Ar-Rayhan.
Over the last fortnight, elite Syrian troops reportedly stormed the town seven or eight times, and until now insurgent fighters managed to rebuff every attack.
In the years before the latest government offensive on East Ghouta, rebel forces at Ar-Rayhan endured and withstood dozens of Syrian Army attacks, each time refining their defenses a little more tightly.
Countless tunnels and trenches were encountered and destroyed during the two-week battle as Syrian soldiers gradually eroded insurgent defenses inside the town and on its outskirts.
With Ar-Rayhan now in government hands, the Syrian Army is in a position to storm the rebel-controlled city of Douma from the northern direction should it so choose.