DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:35 P.M.) – Rebel fighters in eastern Damascus launched, this morning, a surprise attack against the Syrian Army in a contested suburb northeast of the Syrian capital, killing a senior Army officer.
The attack, spearheaded by Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, targeted Base 46 and Police Housing area in Harasta suburb, whereby rebels scored a minor advance by capturing one Army outpost.
Huge Army reinforcement then poured into the battleground, ensuing in heavy firefight. This has granted the government troops the upper hand in repelling the attack with the help of artillery shelling and aerial bombardment.
According to informed source, more than 200 artillery shells and 7 airstrikes hit rebel positions in Harasta, Douma, Misraba and Madiara; all rebel-controlled towns in the wider Eastern Ghouta region.
Walid Khawashqi, a Syrian Army major general was killed in the assault.(Photo below)
The offensive is a blatant violation for the de-escalation zone deal agreed upon by the Syrian government and opposition in Eastern Ghouta. The break will most likely drive sever retaliation by the Syrian Army; especially after only two days of grating safe access to aid convoy into the rebel-held Douma.