Syrian Army Establishes Control Over Harasta Hills in the East Ghouta
On Thursday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) – advanced their positions from the village of Al-Kassarat to the hills overlooking the contested town of Harasta inside the East Ghouta (collection of farms) area of Damascus.
Following a series of fierce firefights with the Islamist rebel fighters of Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam), the Syrian Armed Forces reportedly captured the hills overlooking Harasta after killing 17 enemy combatants, while also destroying two armored vehicles that were mounted with a 23mm anti-aircraft machine gun.
Meanwhile, inside the town of Harasta, the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Islam attempted to break-through the National Defense Forces’ frontline positions at the Harasta National Hospital and the Harasta Police Academy; however, for the fourth time this week, they were repelled by the NDF soldiers defending these strategic buildings in western Harasta.
South of Harasta, the Syrian Armed Forces were attacked by a large contingent from Jaysh Al-Islam at the Wafadeen Refugee Camp outside of the rebel-stronghold of Douma; this firefight persisted for over four hours before the Islamist rebels withdrew towards Douma.
With the hills overlooking western Harasta captured, the Syrian Armed Forces have been able to reverse most of Jaysh Al-Islam’s gains from their September offensive.