The Islamist rebel faction “Jaysh Al-Islam” – in coordination with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” – has launched a number of attacks around East Ghouta, targeting the towns of Harasta, Tal Kurdi, and ‘Adra in an attempt to breakout of this rural area and into the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Last night, the National Defense Forces (NDF) were able to repel Jaysh Al-Islam’s attempt to capture the Harasta National Hospital; however, on Friday morning, the Islamist rebel group returned and continued where they left off the day before – firefights are still ongoing near the hospital, as the NDF attempts to repel the attack once again.
However, while the National Defense Forces attempt to maintain their ground near the National Hospital, the Jaysh Al-Islam militants advanced in northern Harasta, pushing their way to the Dhahiyah Al-Assad Bridge and checkpoint before having to retreat due to heavy gunfire from the defending soldiers.
The situation at Harasta is still very tense, as reinforcements from the Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard pour into the area to help drive back the Islamist rebel fighters.
If the Islamist fighters are successful in capturing the Harasta National Hospital and the southern sector of Dhahiyah Al-Assad; this will allow them to break back into the town of Al-Tall, leaving the capital of Damascus under a serious threat.
According to a military source, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) is absent from today’s battle due to poor visibility; however, they are expected to make an appearance tomorrow morning, if the Syrian Armed Forces can maintain their positions.
As a result of the Islamist rebel advance, the Damascus-Homs International Highway has been closed off due to the intense fighting that is taking place around it.
South of Harasta, the National Defense Forces and the Palestine Liberation Army (Army) are under attack at the towns of Tal Kurdi and ‘Adra, as Jaysh Al-Islam targets their positions near the ‘Adra Central Prison and Al-Rayyan Farms – firefights are still ongoing.
North of Douma, the Syrian Armed Forces are clashing with Jaysh Al-Islam at the Wafadeen Refugee Camp after the aforementioned Islamist group launched an assault there this morning.