DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:05 P.M.) – On Tuesday morning, Islamist rebels began a large-scale assault from three flanks on the heavily fortified ‘Armored Vehicle Base’, targeting a territorial bulge controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the perimeter of the Harasta neighborhood in the East Ghouta.
So far, gains have been minor for a joint opposition fighting force comprised of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), Ahrar Al-Sham and Failaq Al-Sham as these groups seized two checkpoints in the morning hours near the so-called ‘Police Housing Area’. With SAA reinforcements pouring into the army base from central Damascus, government forces are now trying to turn the tides and retake the lost points.
Meanwhile, hundreds of shells were launched from SAA positions towards the East Ghouta heartland while Syrian jets conducted a dozen sorties on Tuesday alone to punish insurgents for breaching the de-escalation agreement.
With heavy clashes unfolding throughout the day and both sides taking casualties, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) was called in after which Su-22 bomber jets struck both the Harasta neighborhood and the neighboring town of Madyara, targeting jihadist gathering points.
Photos of today’s air raids and their aftermath can be seen below:
In the coming days, the SAA is expected to launch a counter-offensive to thrust into the East Ghouta pocket and deliver Jaish Al-Islam a devastating blow, a Damascus-based military source assured Al-Masdar News on Tuesday evening.
Footage was also released showing the airstrikes taking place: