Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Damascus City and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) – broke-through Jaysh Al-Islam’s (Army of Islam) frontline defenses at the Marj Al-Sultan army terrain and reached the strategic helicopter airfield that is situated just south of the Marj Al-Sultan village in rural Damascus.

The Republican Guard and their allies reportedly fractured Jaysh Al-Islam’s defenses after 16 straight hours of intense firefights that resulted in several casualties and the destruction of heavy equipment for both sides involved in this violent battle.

According to a military source inside the Syrian capital, the Syrian Armed Forces suffered 18 soldiers killed-in-action (KIA) and another 31 wounded-in-action (WIA) while trying to penetrate Jaysh Al-Islam’s defenses; however, despite the death toll, the Republican Guard and their allies were able to fight through this rough terrain and reach the wide-open helicopter airfield.

The battle for the helicopter airfield will be a complicated one due to the fact that both sides have to rely on their armored vehicles to move in open; unfortunately, this also leaves these vehicles susceptible to the Islamist rebels anti-tank TOW missiles.

If the Syrian Armed Forces capture the helicopter airfield at the Marj Al-Sultan Military Airbase, they will be in prime position to assault the Marj Al-Sultan village that is situated to the north of the base.

The Marj Al-Sultan region of the East Ghouta has been under the control of the Islamist rebels since 2012; it was one of the first sites captured by them.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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