The Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have used tunnel warfare to their advantage in the East Ghouta region of rural Damascus, evading the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) defenses and the Syrian Arab Air Force’s (SAAF) powerful airstrikes as they would travel undetected to carry out attacks.
For the most part; this form of warfare has been extremely effective for the Islamist rebels, as their network of complex tunnels in the East Ghouta makes it difficult for the Syrian Armed Forces to obstruct their supply routes and military movements.
However, the Syrian Arab Army’s military tactics have drastically changed in rural Damascus, thanks in large part to their Russian and Iranian military advisers directing their troops against the Islamist rebels in both the East Ghouta and the West Ghouta.
According to a senior officer from the Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard, the Syrian Armed Forces have constructed several tunnels in the rebel strongholds of Douma, Jobar, Harasta, ‘Ayn Al-Tarma, Zamalka, and Qaboun.
These locations were specifically chosen due to their enclosed buildings that make it hard to travel through without being detected by the Islamist rebel snipers that imminently wait for troops to cross in the open.
With their success in the southern front of the East Ghouta, the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard forces now turn their attention to the dilapidated cities outside of the Syrian capital of Damascus; this area has been relatively impenetrable over the years because of the large presence of rebel fighters.