DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:25 A.M.) – On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officially began an anticipated offensive targeting an Islamist enclave, known as the Beit Jinn pocket, on the provincial border between Quneitra and rural Damascus.

Preluded by missile and artillery shelling, government troops attacked from two axes at the Al-Siyouf and Al-Hinnawi hills, advancing some 400 meters towards Al-Zayat village after overrunning a jihadist trench in the area.

At least 20 fighters, mostly from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), were killed in the clashes. A couple of commanders who originated from Beit Jinn and Kanakar also died.

Leading the government offensive are elements of the 4th Mechanized Division, the National Defence Forces (NDF), and several paramilitary branches.

No Syrian airstrikes were conducted in the region due to its proximity with Israeli territory where Zionist anti-aircraft units are heavily present.

Nevertheless, rebel forces in the Beit Jinn pocket can hope for salvation from allied forces in the Quneitra governorate, positioned only six kilometers away.

Contrary to the norm of other rebel pockets in rural Damascus, is not immediately clear if SAA commanders have offered rebel factions based in the Beit Jinn pocket a deal that would have them surrender the area and evacuate to rebel heartland, likely in Daraa.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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