DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:30 A.M.) – Heavy clashes continue on a daily basis on the eastern outskirts of Damascus as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attempts to regain momentum and break through insurgent defenses at the Ain Tarma and Jobar suburbs.
Footage released by Failaq Al-Rahman (Free Syrian Army group) earlier this week shows their fighters scoring a direct hit on a SAA ‘Shilka’ tank on the Ain Tarma frontline:
Subsequently, an SAA minesweeper tried to recover the disabled armored vehicle, only to be struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by the FSA group in advance:
Although the SAA has this opposition enclave – often refered to as the East Ghouta pocket – encircled and contained, government forces have unable to advance for several months despite holding vastly superior firepower.
However, securing the perimeter of the capital city has been given low priority by the High Command; instead, the SAA has deployed its elite forces – most notably the Tiger Forces and 4th Mechanized Division – to eastern Syria amid a wider bid to defeat ISIS indefinitely and retake the country’s oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor.
Once this military endeavour comes to fruition, tens of thousands of SAA troops will be freed up for duty elsewhere, likely to be deployed on the East Ghouta frontier.