Major military reinforcements for the Assad regime's forces and allied militias have arrived to enter the Eastern Ghouta in preparation for an upcoming battle, media sources and Syrian opposition forces have confirmed.
In comments to Alsouria Net on Sunday, Wael Alwan, official spokesman for the Faylaq al-Rahman rebel group, did not rule out the beginning of a regime military operation against the Eastern Ghouta, but denied the regime could achieve any gains at the expense of the opposition. Photos and videos appeared on social media over the last few days showing military equipment including missile launchers, machines, and heavy armored and machine gun-equipped vehicles belonging to the regime forces, on their way to the Eastern Ghouta.
The “Central Channel for Hmeimeem Military Base” Facebook page quoted Russian spokesman Alexander Ivanov as saying that Moscow would support “government land mobilizations in the de-escalation zone in the Eastern Ghouta.”
Government forces have over the last few months carried out several military operations on the Ghouta using elite forces from the regime’s Republican Guard and Fourth Division without achieving any notable gain, suffering heavy losses in battles in the Vehicles Administration district on the outskirts of the city of Harasta.
Alwan noted that “news that the Assad regime is broadcasting about the mobilization against the Eastern Ghouta by elite forces is not new… they have previously circulated propaganda about a similar operation, whereby the Republican Guard attempted to storm the Jobar district of Damascus two months ago and suffered enormous losses.”
“The regime has also previously promoted a battle led by the Fourth Division forces under the authority of the regime head’s brother Maher al-Assad on Ain Termeh and Jobar, and after months of fighting suffered heavy losses,” Alwan added.
Alwan said that “opposition forces are ready for any possibilities,” adding at the same time that “this military campaign will face the same fate as its predecessors did.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.