The Islamic State (ISIS) militant group has taken control of the strategic Dakwa Mountain in Eastern Ghouta on Monday, forcing back Army of Islam fighters, pro-ISIS websites reported.
Reports claim ISIS fighters launched a surprise attack on Dakwa Mountain that links eastern Qalamoun (al-Hamad or Badiyat al-Sham) with the embattled Eastern Ghouta, Palmyra and Iraqi borders.
ISIS, who controlled Beer al-Qasab months ago, is looking to close in on Dumeir Military Airbase, and advance further towards the Syrian capital, observers say.
The Army of Islam’s spokesman, Islam Alloush, accuses ISIS of cooperating with Syrian regime to prolong the blockade of Eastern Ghouta’s suburbs.
ISIS seized three tanks and ammunition belonging to the Army of Islam, ISIS’ twitter feeds said.
Controlling Badiyat al-Sham, the desert that links Damascus with ISIS-held Iraqi cities on the borders, is ISIS’ main goal, an ambition that raises concerns from both Assad forces and Islamist rebel factions.