DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:50 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had a territorially productive day in eastern Damascus as government forces resumed their counter-insurgency operations in the southeastern sector of the embattled Al-Qaboun suburb.
Led by the 4th Mechanized Division and 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard, the SAA captured five building blocks near the Electric Grid Station after skirmishes with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (Syrian Al-Qaeda branch) and allied Free Syrian Army factions.
According to an Al-Masdar News field correspondent based in Damascus, rebel forces are expected to surrender within 7 to 10 days if the SAA is able to sustain its current rate of urban advances at the Al-Qaboun and Barzeh districts.
Missiles and airstrikes also continued to pound Al-Qaboun by the minute, providing Islamist fighters with little respite and dealing a blow to the moral of local insurgents.
Despite diplomatic efforts failing the past, the SAA still has a deal on offer which would have Al-Qaboun and Barzeh militants evacuated to Idlib province similar to other agreements at a handful of formerly rebel-held suburbs in the Syrian capital.
Once Al-Qaboun and Barzeh are restored under government control, Brigadier General Ali Mahmoud and Colonel Ghayath Galla have been tasked with restarting the East Ghouta offensive, spearheaded by the 42nd Brigade of the 4th Divison.
If this rebel pocket is liquidated, Syrian troops will turn their attention to the Yarmouk enclave. Once victory is achieved there, the SAA will have secured the entire Syrian capital for the first time since 2012, similar to recent events in Syria’s largest city of Aleppo.