DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:50 P.M.) – A previously isolated rebel pocket northeast of Damascus has almost tripled its size over the past week as ISIS militants have completely abandoned a mountainous region in the Rif Dimashq governorate and pulled back to Islamic State areas on the outskirts of Palmyra in eastern Homs.
On Tuesday, ISIS surrendered control of the entire East Qalamoun region, leaving areas formerly under caliphate control to be captured by the contingents led by the Ahmad Al-Abdo martyrs brigade, Jaysh Awsoud Al-Sharqiyah and Jaish Al-Islam.
During sporadic clashes with ISIS on the provincial border between Rif Dimashq and Homs, rebel forces seized control of Dakwa mountain some 50 kilometers northeast of Damascus.
Effectively, opposition fighters have linked up with allied militants who carried out a productive offensive simultaneously against ISIS insurgents near the Jordanian border.
Contrary to all other areas of the war-torn country, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is on good terms rebel factions based in the East Qalamoun region. Consequently, both sides have agreed to an indefinite truce in a pragmatic alliance against the Islamic State.
Photos of today’s rebel operations against ISIS at the Dakwa mountaintop: