BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:05 A.M.) – A large convoy of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) reinforcements arrived in the Barada Valley region of rural Damascus on Monday, swelling the total number of government forces to approximately 4,000 military personnel.
According to a military source in Damascus, the convoy of reinforcements were members of the Syrian Arab Army’s Qalamoun Shield Brigade of the 3rd Armored Division.
The Qalamoun Shield soldiers were originally deployed to the eastern slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains, where they were tasked with the protection of several villages, including the government stronghold of Sadad.
The reason the Qalamoun Shield was redeployed to the Barada Valley was due to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham’s (formerly Al-Nusra Front) refusal to surrender this region to the Syrian Armed Forces, despite several attempts to get them to abandon the area for humanitarian purposes.
If the jihadist rebels lose Wadi Barada, they lose a very important bargaining chip with the Syrian government; this region is responsible for the primary water supply to the 5 million people living in-and-around Damascus.
Whenever the jihadist rebels want to punish the people living in Syrian Army-controlled areas, they will turn off the water supply until they receive what they want from the government.