One of the longest ongoing battles taking place inside of Syria is the battle for the strategic city of Darayya, which is located inside the West Ghouta region of rural Damascus.
For over three and a half years, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Islamist rebels have fought for control of Darayya; however, both sides ultimately could not break the stalemate.
In late August of this year, the Islamist rebels from Ajnad Al-Sham launched a massive offensive inside of Darayya and the East Ghouta city of Harasta; this assault proved successful in both cities, as they were able to take control of large parts of Darayya after intense firefights with the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF).
The Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command decided to send in their special forces from the 102nd Brigade and the 416th Regiment of the Republican Guard (both forces later transferred to Marj Al-Sultan) in order to retake the territory they lost to the Islamist rebels, while also cutting off the Darayya-Mo’adimiyah Road; this counter-assault proved successful, as they recaptured several building blocks and cutoff the main supply route for Ajnad Al-Sham.
Since then, there were only a small number of skirmishes reported from the Darayya front.
However, this all changed on Tuesday morning, when the Syrian Arab Army – backed by the National Defense Forces – launched a powerful assault to capture several building blocks around 1st Street and the Four Seasons Hotel.
Unwilling to maintain their positions during this assault, the Islamist rebels of Ajnad Al-Sham were forced to retreat from the vicinity of the Four Seasons Hotel and from much of 1st Street after a series of violent firefights.
Following these impressive gains by the Syrian Armed Forces, the Islamist rebels claimed they were gassed at Mo’adimiyah, which is likely an attempt by the Syrian Opposition to attribute their losses on the battlefield to a chemical agent.
According to a military source inside of Darayya, both the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defense Forces military personnel do not have any chemical weapons nor do they have the capabilities to use them.