DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:00 PM) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has kicked off the second phase of its operations in West Ghouta, as they resumed operations in the Beit Jenn pocket against militants stationed there.

The Syrian forces, led by the 4th and 7th Division, advanced on the hill of Tall Al-Maqtoul and the town of Magher Al-Meir, where Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly known as Al-Nusra Front) forces were pounded by heavy artillery and missile fire.

Reports have it that Syrian army forces have succesfully stormed Tall Al-Maqtoul from the northern side and have started clashing with HTS militants here. If the strategic hill is to be captured by the SAA, the capture of the town of Magher Al-Meir seems only a matter of time.

Families of HTS militants in the area have reportedly started to evacuate the town in preparation for upcoming clashes within Magher Al-Meir itself.

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Historian specialized in Arab history, Islamic studies and geopolitical analysis. Based in Belgium.

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