DAMASCUS, SYRIA (7:10 P.M.) – Since the start of 2017, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Jaish Al-Islam have been deadlocked in fierce clashes across the eastern farmland of Damascus, a region better known as the East Ghouta which is home to the largest opposition enclave on the vicinity of the Syrian capital.
While both sides have lost hundreds of fighters and soldiers alike during these on-and-off skirmishes, Jaish Al-Islam released a lengthy battle video earlier this week showing its forces repelling numerous SAA assaults on the frontier towns of Hawsh Dawahra and Al-Rayhan, located southeast of the main Jaish Al-Islam stronghold Douma:
Some of the footage can be traced up to four months back and is seemingly compiled for propaganda purposes. Viewer discretion is advised as SAA corpses are put on display at several points in the video:
According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, military plans to capture the East Ghouta pocket are low priority for the SAA’s Military High Command as offensives against the Islamic State in eastern Syria have drawn most of the elite forces – including Tiger Forces and Republican Guards – towards Deir Ezzor instead.