It has been nearly three weeks since the six month long ceasefire agreement inside the resort-city of Al-Zabadani (Rif Dimashq Governorate) and the two Shi’i towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa (Idlib Governorate) was implemented; and as a result of this ceasefire, the fighting has dissipated around the aforementioned areas.
However, this changed on Monday morning, when the Syrian Arab Army’s 42nd and 63rd Brigades of the 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – carried out a powerful assault on the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda), and their allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham at the village of ‘Ayn Al-Dawlah in the East Hills of Al-Zabadani.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces attacked the contingent of Islamist fighters inside the small village of ‘Ayn Al-Dawlah, killing over 15 enemy combatants from Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and the Free Syrian Army before the firefights dissipated on Monday evening.
The source added that the small village of ‘Ayn Al-Dawlah was not part of the six month long ceasefire agreement; therefore, neither side committed any violations that would warrant the disintegration of the agreement.
North of Al-Zabadani, the Syrian Armed Forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) reportedly clashed along the Qarah-Deir ‘Atiyah Road that leads to the imperative Damascus-Aleppo Highway (M-5 Highway); these firefights are still ongoing.