Al-Qabun and Barzeh are set to be strangled into submission after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched a week-long artillery campaign on the eastern Damascus districts.
The government bombardment began after local rebel commanders declined an opportunity to let their fighters be evacuated to Idlib.
Missile attacks were especially intense on Sunday as the SAA’s Military High Command gave rebel fighters a last chance to return to the negotiations table.
Should the armed opposition in Al-Qabun and Barzeh refuse another evacuation deal, they may soon face utter annihilation.
Meanwhile, the SAA’s 42nd Brigade of the seasoned 4th Mechanized Division and 106th Brigade of the Republican Guard are no longer on standby; their joint forces launched a large-scale infantry invasion that saw government forces capture the majority of the farm area between Al-Qabun and Barzeh on Sunday.
These rebel-held neighborhoods are controlled by Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham and several factions loosely affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.
Once Al-Qabun and Barzeh fall into government hands, the SAA will likely turn its focus to the East Ghouta rebel pocket which represents the last obstacle to securing the Syrian capital once and for all.
Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham is a newly formed jihadist coalition that merged Jabhat al-Nusra (Syrian al-Qaeda) with a handful of aligned factions.