Militant defenses are collapsing in the Khan al-Shih pocket in the Western Ghouta region near the Syrian capital, Damascus.
On November 7, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch), Jaish al-Islam and their allies launched an attempt to break the Khan al-Shih pocket in the areas of Air Defense Housing and Buwaydah. The joint militant forces engaged the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) in a series of firefights, but were not able to take an upper hand over the government forces.
The Syrian army lost at least 1 ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled ati-aircraft gun and 4 soldiers in these clashes. There were no confirmed reports about casualties among the joint militant forces.
On November 8, the Syrian government forces continued military operations in the area, putting pressure on the besieged terrorist groups in Khan al-Shih. The army and the NDF conducted a series of raids in the eastern countryside of Khan al-Shih and secured the road between Darushah and the Air Defense Housing.
Strategically this puts Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies in a no-win situation in the area. The fall of Khan al-Shih is the matter of time. Then, the Syrian government forces will be able to pay attention to Zakiyah and the nearby areas.