BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:25 P.M.) – After days of battle, elite storming forces of the Syrian Army’s Republican Guard have managed to impose full control over the town of Aftris in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.

Syrian troops were faced with many difficulties trying to overrun Aftris’ defenses – the town possessed a wide anti-tank ditch and several well-fortified layers of trenches and tactical positions in and around it.

Two rebel groups present inside and near Aftris resisted the Syrian Army’s advance to take the town – these being Faylaq al-Rahman and Al-Qaeda affiliate militia Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name Jabhat al-Nusra).

With the fall of Aftris to the Syrian Army, government forces have now cleared virtually all of the farmland areas in the southern East Ghouta pocket and are now in a position to storm the rebel-held urban districts of Kafr Batna and Saqba.

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