“Victory feels good," the Syrian field commander said with a smile, outside the town of Mleiha in Damascus Countryside.
Peace and quiet have replaced the sound of terrorist gunfire which had haunted the town, once a bustling residential area surrounded by farms and wooded lots where families used to come to have picnics.
The terrorists’ bullets were finally silenced at the hands of the Syrian Arab Army.
“The battle of Mleiha is a military victory, but it also has much significance in terms of morale,” the field commmander said, adding that the morael boost will help in the upcoming battles to rid the Eastern Ghouta area from all traces of terrorists.
Mleiha is considered an access point into the Eastern Ghouta, and victory is a first step to more victories leading to the restoration of peace and security in all the towns and villages in the area, he said.
The field commander said that when the decision to begin the battle for al-Mleiha was made, a plan was devised to enter it through three points: the southeastern farms along the direction of Deir al-Asafir and Zebdin, the town itself along the direction of the Air Defense Directorate, and north along the direction of Tameco Pharmaceuticals Company.
He said that the operations faced many difficulties, including the difficult terrain in the direction of Ein Tarma valley and the thick foliage and trees that posed an obstacle for regular operations, which is why nighttime infiltration operations were employed.
After assuming control of large portions of the town and encircling the terrorist groups trapped inside, the terrorists grew desperate to maintain this foothold which formed the linchpin of all their dreams and delusions of entering the capital, Damascus.
“Because of this, terrorist organizations rallied all their forces including Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islam Brigade, the Islamic Army, the Rahman Legion, and the Islamic Union of Ajnad al-Cham, in addition to bringing in professional international terrorists to entrench themselves in the town,” the field commander explained, saying that over130 days of the operations, the terrorists employed all sorts of tactics including suicide bombings in an attempt to break the perimeter set around them.
He noted that this only served to increase the number of special operations carried out by the Syrian Arab Army which adapted and changed its defense tactics, edging closer to the final chapter of the operation in which personnel trained for urban combat and specifically for fighting in Mleiha were deployed. He said that this operation shifted from being a regular operation to a series of special operations within no more than 45 days, with some operations including infiltrating tunnels used by terrorists.
Informed military sources said that 48 hours before the victory was announced, the army command made the decision to finish it swiftly, so the army advanced from within the town towards the buildings where the terrorists were holed up, all the while encircling them from the outer perimeter and then closing in.
The terrorists had no chance, and they suffered a sound defeat, with some fleeing and the rest killed.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer