Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syrian Rebels Defend Eastern Damascus Posts, Lead Major Offensive in Hama | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Rebel fighters from the hardline Jund al-Aqsa man a checkpoint in Taybat al Imam town after they advanced in the town in Hama province, Syria August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Beirut – Syrian rebel leaders displayed great content over succeeding with relaying its political views in keep with the ongoing Geneva peace negotiations, all despite having lost grounds in the eastern Damascus to pro-regime forces.

Syrian rebels continue to push their political demands in the face of a brutal and unprecedented military campaign led by Russian forces to curb an offensive launched by Syrian opposition factions in Hama.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat a rebel leader explained that the offensives and fierce battles staged and fought were to serve a political advantage in making a point that the Syrian revolution and rebels still have a counter military capacity to strike the authoritarian regime at heart.

Rebel groups launched the attack on Tuesday and have captured at least 11 villages and towns.

In previous peace talks, the table was tilted to favor the regime’s viewpoint in proportions with an assumed strong military standing.

On battleground developments, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported that rebel factions have withdrew Damascus outskirts and its eastern posts as a result of the intense impounding and clampdown of pro-regime aerial forces.

Forces backing head of Syrian regime Bashar al Assad had targeted areas previously taken by rebel forces in the Jobar and al-Qaboun neighborhoods which include textile and spinning factories.

At least 16 civilians were killed and dozens wounded on Saturday in an air strike on a rebel-held area outside Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. Regime air support targeted on Friday rebels supply routes in Eastern Ghouta and Jobar.

Jobar in the east of Damascus has been a battleground for more than two years, with regime forces seeking to push rebels out because of the neighborhood’s proximity to the heart of the capital.

Syrian regime troops on Friday regained control over all points taken by rebels in a surprise offensive launched late last week in the east of the capital Damascus, state media said. The rebel’s assault involved armed factions such as Faylaq al-Rahman group, as well as Fateh al-Sham Front.

State television showed a reporter greeting cheering soldiers near Abbasid Square, which had been emptied of its usual traffic at the beginning of the rebel assault on Sunday.

Footage showed burned out cars in the streets and a building with a hole blasted through its side.

The surprise attack, which sparked heavy fighting and shelling, was launched from the Jobar neighborhood, where control is divided between rebels and regime forces.

The assault was intended to assist allied rebel fighters in the nearby districts of Barzeh, Tishreen and Qabun, as they came under regime attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

It said it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the strike on the town Hammuriyeh in the opposition bastion of Eastern Ghouta, which has been targeted by both the government and its ally Russia in the past.