DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:00 P.M.) – Minor advances were secured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) today at the imperative ‘Armored Vehicles Base’ on the eastern outskirts of Damascus amid ongoing skirmishes with a fighting force led by Ahrar Al-Sham.

Led by seasoned elements of the Republican Guard, the SAA seized a large tunnel west of the base itself, believed to have been used by Islamist militants to infiltrate the government defensive line and possibly obstruct the narrow government supply line leading to Armored Vehicles Base.

Photos of the newly captured tunnel and the SAA in action are available below:

Chris Tomson | AMN

Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN

Although the base was fully restored under government control towards the end of last month, the SAA is yet to secure lost points on its perimeter. If government forces fail to do so, Ahrar Al-Sham will have a launching pad for a renewed assault on the highly fortified military base.

On this axis, the warring parties often fight for control of a few yards and sometimes find themselves shooting at one another from each side of a battered building.

In the coming weeks, the Republican Guard hopes to recapture all points in the area, most of which are located in the farmland on the southern side of the Armored Vehicles Base.

If the SAA succeeds in doing so, it will have established a vital buffer zone around the military installation. The Armored Vehicles Base neighbors the Harasta suburb and is squeezed between government-controlled residential areas of Damascus and the largely rebel-held East Ghouta.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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