DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:25 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had another productive day in Damascus after resuming counter-insurgency operations in the embattled Al-Qaboun district on the eastern fringes of the capital.
Led by the 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division alongside the 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard, government forces captured a dozen building blocks in the southern sector of the Al-Qaboun suburb on Thursday morning.
Amid the advance, a group of insurgents were trapped inside a building, 5 of whom were killed by a hand-grenade in close-quarter combat. Facing certain death, the remaining fighters decided to surrender as the pictures below reveal.
The advance was preluded by mortar, artillery and missile attacks along with airstrikes that targeted positions held by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, Jaish Al-Islam and a couple of Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions in the Al-Qaboun district and neighboring Barzeh.
Remarkably, the SAA discovered another tunnel underneath a building in the newly liberated area, linking southern Al-Qaboun to its city centre. The tunnel was reportedly used to increase manueverability and minize casualties from the SAA’s ongoing bombardment.
Reports also suggest that talks have restarted between the warring parties, ultimately looking to evacuate rebel forces to Idlib and restore the district under government control.
Photos of this morning’s operations: