Syria Army Recovers Damascus District a Day After Rebel Raid

47 Reported Killed in Heavy Fighting

The Syrian Army has claimed victory after a day of dealing with a surprise rebel invasion of the Jobar District of the capital city of Damascus, saying they have recaptured all the parts of the city lost to the rebels over the previous 24 hours, and chased the rebels out of the area.

Rebels from the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham as well as Fallaq al-Rahman faction surprised the government with a puish into the district, which reportedly involved the use of tunnels to enter into areas previously thought secured, setting up mortars and firing deeper into the city. One shell reported hit the Russian Embassy, causing limited damage.

Syrian troops rushed into the invaded area, but it took awhile to get tanks in to back them up, and they appear to have relied heavily on airstrikes to get the advantage over the rebels. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 47 killed in the fighting, including 26 troops and 21 rebels, though this has not been confirmed elsewhere.

Though rebels retain some territory in suburbs around Damascus, the Syrian military has greatly reduced the rebel presence in the area over the past several months, surrounding areas and forcing the rebels to agree to evacuation deals which have greatly reduced their numbers. Despite this, it is clear the rebels are able to carry out strikes against the capital, as they did this week.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.