BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:25 P.M.) – Forces of the Jaysh al-Islam militant group have been reduced to controlling one city and half of a town within a nineteen square kilometer area of eastern Damascus.
The city, Douma, represents Jaysh al-Islam’s largest stronghold that for the first time ever is now coming under directi attack from government forces aiming to completely remove all elements of the rebel faction’s presence east of the Syrian capital; here some advances have been made since Saturday morning (details).
The half of a town earlier referred to is represented by Ar-Rayhan, east of Douma. Here the Syrian Army has repeatedly failed to take full control despite countless attacks since and before the ‘Damascus Steel’ operation.
Despite now being in the last phase of its east Damascus offensive, the Syrian Army is by no means undertaking an an easy task. Opposing them are thousands of cornered militants with virtually no fallback who are determined to neither surrender nor evacuate.