BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:35 P.M.) – The battle for the vehicle base in the East Ghouta town of Harasta has reached its tipping point, as both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Islamist rebels trade attacks near the strategic vehicle base.

Led by Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Islamist rebels launched a massive assault this weekend to capture the vehicle base and its surrounding installations from the Syrian Arab Army.

However, despite the intensity of the attack, Ahrar Al-Sham’s gains were limited, but their casualties were relatively high.

In response to this offensive, the Syrian Army sent in Qalamoun Shield reinforcements from the northeastern countryside of Hama to help drive back the Islamist rebels.

Their counter-attack was ultimately repelled, which led to another Islamist assault on the installations near the vehicle base.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Islamist rebels and Syrian Army have both suffered at least 20 casualties separately, with the majority of the dead coming in the last four hours.

The Syrian Army has since claimed their forces repelled the second Islamist assault on the vehicle base, but intense shelling is ongoing.

The vehicle base in Harasta is arguably the most important site inside the suburb; if lost, it would pave the way for a big Islamist advance in the new year.

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