Syrian rebels announced in a statement on Monday that they had taken full control of a strategic area linking the regime’s biggest military airports at the edge of eastern Qalamoun, to the desert area of Badiyat al-Sham.
The joint statement, from the al-Rahman Legion, Islamic Army and Ahmed Al-Abdo Battalion, said the area between Dumeir military airport and Al-Seen military airport is under rebel control.
Rebels have made accelerated gains for the last five days since announcing the battle of "Desert Storm."
Days ago, rebels announced they had seized control of the strategic highway linking Damascus with eastern Syria and Iraqi borders, as they killed dozens of Bashar Assad’s forces.
The Baghdad International Highway provides a vital route for supplies to Bashar Assad’s forces, activists said.
On Monday rebels seized control of the al-Safa station, a powerful stronghold for Assad forces, besides al-Badiya cement factory and a base for anti-aircraft missiles, 75 kilometers east Damascus, near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Rebels also said they had targeted Dumeir Airport with Grad missiles, shot down a fighter jet and seized control of army depots near the airport.
Zaman al-Wasl analyst Ahmed Khlaif said by taking control of the area between Dumeir city and the Sabe Bayar area, where most powerful Assad armory is situated, the war has taken a critical juncture for Assad’s army, given the geographical area and unexpected skirmishes.
Assad’s previous victories have mostly been the cities bodering Lebanon, including Qussayr and Yabroud, taking advantage of full support from the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
But the war on the Iraqi borders will be different as Dumeir desert links Jordan and Iraq in what they call the "Sad al-Risha", with more supplies and even U.S support now becoming unstoppable, the analyst said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer