BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:50 P.M.) – The latest set of battles to have taken place between ISIS and rival militant groups in southern Damascus over the last month has now resulted in the death of hundreds of insurgent fighters, this representing a very violent start to the year for what as otherwise been a quiet front near the Syrian capital.
Seeking to expand its control over new people, markets and territory throughout several district towns in south Damascus, ISIS has – since the beginning of 2018 – launched as series of assaults against various rebel groups, recently making some noteworthy gains to this effect.
Rival militants belonging to the Free Syrian Army, Jaysh al-Islam and Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) have come under attack by Islamic State forces in the district towns of Al-Hajjar as-Aswad, Yalda and Yarmouk Camp.
Grinding forward, slowly but surely, ISIS has seized key areas in southern Damascus (the most recent gain being the capture of the Halfa neighborhood in Yarmouk Camp), but at the cost of at least 100 fighters killed in action – likewise, around one hundred rebels have died trying to repel the attacks.
Click here to see the latest map of southern Damascus following the capture of Halfa neighborhood by ISIS.