Syrian Troops Seize Rebel-Held Area Near Damascus

Rebels Confirm 'Very Big Attack' Ongoing in Eastern Ghouta

by Jason Ditz, July 27, 2016

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, heavy fighting is ongoing in Eastern Ghouta, a region near the capital of Damascus, with Syrian military forces seizing some farmland south-east of the town of Hosh al-Fara, a rebel-held area.

Eastern Ghouta has been rebel-dominated for much of the Syrian Civil War, though in recent months the Syrian military has managed to retake certain parts of the area. This included the town of Maydaa, captured earlier this month, which served as a key supply route for the rebels in the region.

Jaish al-Islam, the main rebel faction in Eastern Ghouta, confirmed the military is waging a “very big attack” against the area, but denied that they had lost significant territory in the fighting. The Observatory suggested the area was a major base for Jaish al-Islam.

While a lot of the focus of the Syrian military, at the behest of Russia, has been recovering territory along the coast in recent months, retaking the entire perimeter of Damascus is also likely a high priority for the Assad government. Damascus has faced attacks throughout the war, though only suburbs have ever fallen to rebel factions.

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