DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:45 A.M.) – Although the majority of rebel fighters in the Al-Qaboun and Barzeh suburbs have signed up to evacuate, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) is opposed to the deal, calling it forced displacement, and launched multiple homemade missiles on positions held by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) inside the capital in retaliation.
After coming under HTS fire, the SAA’s 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division – reinforced by the 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard and Syrian Special Forces – were ordered to commence counter-insurgency operations on Wednesday and did so to lethal effect.
Targeting an HTS (Syrian Al-Qaeda) controlled area of Al-Qaboun near Al-Taqwa mosque, SAA shock troops captured 27 buildings in the embattled northeastern Damascus neighborhood, a military source told Al-Masdar News.
Ahrar Al-Sham and Failaq Al-Sham (FSA contingent) are reportedly in favor of the evacuation deal and may apply pressure on HTS to comply as well.
Over a thousand militants, family members and activists left Al-Qaboun and Barzeh for Idlib a couple of days ago. However, the truce is now endangered by the HTS hostilities.
Al-Masdar News correspondent Majd Fahd contributed to this story.