BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:05 A.M.) – On Saturday, elite forces of the Syrian Army conquered the long-standing militant stronghold town of Uataya in Damascus’ East Ghouta region from Islamist rebels.

The operation, spearheaded mostly by Republican Guard assault units, lasted an entire day and saw Jaysh al-Islam fighters mount a fanatic resistance; to this effect, clashes on Uataya’s northern outskirts were exceptionally violent.

At the time of the battle, Uataya’s strategic value was immense as the town dictated the fate of two other rebel strongholds which had themselves withstood multiple assaults by Syrian government forces over the years – An-Nashabiyah and Hazrama.

As expected, the seizure of Uataya by the Syrian Army prompted to a general collapse of rebel defenses east of the town with An-Nashabiyah and Hazrama also falling to government troops within the hour after Islamist fighter were forced to flee all three strongholds.

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