Around noon today, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was able to overrun the final insurgents positions at the village of al-Rukabiyah (Rikabiyah), thus imposing full control over this village in the East Ghouta region of the capital.
Yesterday, government troops entered the village and captured most of it; however, some buildings were still occupied by Islamist militants by the end of the day.
Today’s government offensive was enabled through a jointly coordinated attack by the SAA’s Republican Guard and Hezbollah fighters.
On the other hand, Islamist rebels of Jabhat al-Nusra and Jaish al-Islam were still present inside al-Rukabiyah up until the morning hours but were subsequently forced to retreat eastwards due to the rapid government advance.
With Islamist fighters expelled from al-Rukabiyah, the SAA’s 102nd Brigade, National Defence Forces (NDF) and Palestine Liberation Army are now setting up defensive positions inside the village to avoid a counter-offensive.
During today’s battle, 19 Islamist insurgents were killed with the SAA seizing many ID-cards from the deceased militants. In turn, government forces suffered 3 deaths and 17 injuries to their soldiers.
Next, the Syrian Armed Forces will likely target the neighbouring towns of Dayr al-Assafir and Zabdeen which are still controlled by rebel fighters.