87 Killed Last Week as Fighting Around Syrian Capital Escalates

Fighting Centers on Key Prison Holding Rebel Leaders

According to a new report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 87 combatants, including 46 rebels and 41 pro-government forces, have been killed in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus in the past six days, a significant uptick in the area.

The fighting includes multiple rebel factions, but primarily Jaish al-Islam, which has been pushing government control of the area around the key Adra Prison, which is housing a lot of rebel leaders. It is the largest prison which remains in Syrian government control.

Much of the fighting in metro Damascus was in the suburbs, and the Observatory report only confirmed a single death inside the city itself. Still, this suggests that the stalemate around the metro area, which has kept the sides just trading rocket fire and airstrikes here and there, may be starting to break, and the rebels are looking to gain new ground.

This began late last month with ISIS moving out of the refugee camp and seizing parts of the Qadam District. The Syrian military has been losing ground in the Homs Province and Idlib Province in recent weeks as well, and seems to be increasingly on the defensive everywhere.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.