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Major Rebel Groups Tighten the Noose on HTS in the Damascus Ghouta

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham suffers major setbacks at the hands of former allies on the outskirts of the capital, Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat reports
Major Rebel Groups Tighten the Noose on HTS in the Damascus Ghouta

Jayish al-Islam (Army of Islam) fighters tightened the noose on Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham positions in Damascus’ Ghouta following an attack launched on Monday, as battles raged between Syria’s regime forces and Faylaq al-Rahman, a group also engaged in battles with 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 the Ayn Terma area,” the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.

The Observatory added that the clashes were accompanied by shelling from regime heavy artillery and tanks on the same areas, in addition to 18 raids carried out by Syrian warplanes in Ayn Terma and Jobar.

German news media reported that pro-Assad forces launched on Monday more than 40 surface-to-surface missiles on the two neighborhoods, resulting in immense damage to buildings.

Meanwhile, Faylaq al-Rahman militants announced they had taken a number of regime fighters hostage.

The developments in Ayn Terma coincided with noted tensions in the Eastern Ghouta following internal clashes, rifts and arrests between members of the largest opposition factions currently operating in the area.

“Jaysh al-Islam launched an intense attack against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the Al-Ashari area and took control of Al-Ashari mosque and school, in addition to 25 farms located in the Eastern Ghouta,” the Observatory said.

Also, Faylaq al-Rahman militants erected checkpoints in the central Ghouta area and have started arresting any member from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. Faylaq al-Rahman controlled all of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group’s positions in Arbin following additional rifts in the ranks of the group.

Elsewhere, opposition sources revealed that regime forces had sent new reinforcements to the Jobar front lines, where government forces had lost in battles against Syrian rebels four years ago.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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