Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Damascus and the Syrian Arab Army’s only female brigade of the Republican Guard – reportedly captured several building blocks inside the strategic city of Darayya in the West Ghouta regin of rural Damascus after intense firefights with the Islamist rebels of Ajnad Al-Sham and Liwaa Shuhada Al-Islam.

According to a military source from the NDF in Damascus City, the Syrian Armed Forces captured several building blocks around the following sites: Mahawar Al-Talya, the Darayya National Hospital, the Darayya Association Quarter, Dawar Al-Firin, the Four Seasons Hotel, and on the road to the Darayya Factory.

For the last 8 days, the Syrian Armed Forces and the Islamist rebels have been duking it out for control of this city after the Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces launched a surprise offensive to recapture the territory that was captured by Ajnad Al-Sham and Liwaa Shuhada Al-Islam during their offensive in early September.

The lack of progress along this front the last 8 days seemed rather concerning for the Syrian Armed Forces; however, it appears that the battle for this city has been very difficult to advance at, which is why the Syrian and Russian Air Forces have intensified their airstrikes.

Darayya holds the key to the West Ghouta region of rural Damascus; if captured by the Syrian Armed Forces, they will have secured their imperative airbase to the northwest and they will be in position to launch another offensive at the imperative town of Khan Al-Sheih.

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

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