Around noon today, rebel fighters loyal to Jaish al-Islam attempted to sneak in on government positions at Hawsh Khayyat village in the northern part of East Ghouta, Damascus.
However, the Islamist insurgents walked directly into a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) ambush which subsequently inflicted 13 casualties upon Jaish al-Islam fighters.
According to al-Masdar intel, the goal of the Islamist operation was to kidnap SAA soldiers which could be used to exchange prisoners.
The ambush was carried out by infantry units of the SAA’s Air Force Intelligence whom opened fire from their 130mm field guns and 82mm mortar weaponry.
For the past 10 days, Jaish al-Islam, Faylaq Al-Rahman and Jabhat al-Nusra have been clashing with each other in the East Ghouta region (eastern Damascus) causing hundreds of casualties among rebel ranks.
With insurgent ceasefire talks now underway and rebel forces soon to be unified in East Ghouta, government troops seem keen to grab rebel territory in the region.
Lately, the SAA has been targeting the southern flank of the East Ghouta.
Starting with the capture of Marj al-Sultan Airbase in December 2015, government troops have most recently seized nearby al-Rukabiyah village a week ago in a move to obstruct rebel logistics and isolate insurgent controlled areas of the Syrian capital.
This SAA pincer movement has put additional pressure upon the armed Syrian Opposition in Damascus which has already had its manpower greatly reduced due to rebel infighting and a government-imposed siege.