On Tuesday morning, the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) launched another large-scale assault on the defensive positions of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham in the Qalamoun Mountains of rural Damascus, targeting the imperative town of Wadi Barada near the province’s primary water supply.
Following an intense series of clashes inside of Wadi Barada, the ISIS militants attacking this town in western Damascus were finally able to advance past Jabhat Al-Nusra’s defenses, capturing several posts from the aforementioned Islamist group by the mid-afternoon on Tuesday.
Based on reports from their social media activists, the combined death toll for both of these terrorist groups reached 42 before the fighting dissipated; this is the highest death toll recorded in the Qalamoun Mountains this year.
ISIS has recently advanced along several axes in the Qalamoun Mountains, despite repeated attempts by the Syrian Armed Forces and the Islamist rebels to forestall their progress in western Damascus.
Not only is ISIS threatening the Islamists at Wadi Barada, but they are also very close to blocking the Homs-Damascus Highway near the predominately Assyrian city of Sadad in the Homs Governorate’s southeastern countryside.