BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:05 P.M.) – After three days of constant clashes with Syrian government troops, Islamist militants of the Jaysh al-Islam rebel faction continue to hold on to the stronghold town of Ar-Rayhan in Damascus’ East Ghouta region.
At the present time, the Syrian Army has taken control of somewhere in the area of 90 percent of Ar-Rayhan – essentially the main part of the town – but yet has just not been able to fully secure it.
From their toe-hold grip on the stronghold’s western outskirts, rebel fighters have launched counter-attack after counter-attack (forcing Syrian troops to fully retreat at one point) and by doing so have been able to keep some kind of presence in it.
Given that Ar-Rayhan has witnessed three days of uninterrupted firefights, losses on both sides – if ever confessed to – can be expected to be very high.
For militant groups operating inside East Ghouta, Ar-Rayhan represents the last town under their control (somewhat so) directly east of the city of Douma (a capital-like stronghold for rebels in the region).