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Tightening the Noose On ‘Nusra’ In Damascus’ Ghouta | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Syrian rebel fighter from Faylaq al-Rahman fires a weapon in Ain Terma, in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold east of the capital Damascus, July 17, 2017. AFP/ABDULMONAM EASSA

London, Beirut- Jaysh al-Islam fighters tightened the noose on al-Nusra Front positions in Damascus’ Ghouta following an attack launched on Monday, as battles raged between Syria’s regime forces and Faylaq al-Islam, a group also engaged in battles with another opposition faction: Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

“Violent clashes broke out between regime forces and their allied militiamen on one hand and Faylaq al-Rahman on the other, in areas in the vicinity of al-Motahalik al-Janobi (the Southern Bypass) that separates Jobar neighborhood and Ein Tarma area,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.

The Observatory added that the clashes were accompanied by regime forces’ heavy artillery and tanks shelling on the same areas, in addition to 18 raids carried by regime warplanes in Ein Tarma and the Jobar neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Faylaq al-Rahman militias announced taking some regime forces as hostages.

Germany’s news agency reported that regime forces and their allied militias launched on Monday more than 40 surface-to-surface missiles on Ein Tarma and the Jobar neighborhood, leaving immense damages in the buildings and areas hit by the attack.

The developments in Ein Tarma coincided with “tension documented in eastern Ghouta following internal clashes, rifts and arrests between members of the largest military factions currently operating in the area.

“Jaysh al-Islam launched an intense attack against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in Al-Ash’ari area and controlled al-Ash’ari mosque and school, in addition to 25 farms located in eastern Ghouta,” the Observatory said.

Also, Al-Faylaq militiamen placed checkpoints in the central area of Ghouta and started arresting any member from Tahrir al-Sham.

Al-Faylaq controlled all Hay’at Ahrar al-Sham positions in Arbeen, following additional rifts in the ranks of the group.

Opposition sources revealed that regime forces had sent new military reinforcements to the Jobar frontlines, where the army of Bahsar Assad had lost the battle four years ago.