On January 4, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a counter-attack to break the Ahrar al-Sham Movement siege on the Armored Vehicles base south of Harasta district in eastern Damascus, according to Syrian pro-governmed sources.
Pro-government activists said that the SAA advanced and captured dozens of buildings in Harasta and added that the SAA is now only 250m away from the Armored Vehicles base. During their advance, SAA soldiers reportedly captured several fighters of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement and killed many others.
The Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) carried out dozens of airstrikes on positions of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement around the Armored Vehicles base and destroyed a headquarter of the Islamist group in Harasta, according to pro-government activists.
Several pro-government sources claimed that Faylaq al-Rahman and several other Islamist armed groups in the Eastern Ghouta region are now supporting Ahrar al-Sham Movement attack on the Armored Vehicles base. This could complicate the SAA mission, and make it longer.
Meanwhile, Jaysh al-Islam announced that in the southern part of East Ghouta its fighters repelled the SAA attack on the village of Ayn Zuriqa north of al-Nashabiyah and restored all the positions they had lost inside it. Jaysh al-Islam fighters killed three SAA soldiers during the clashes in Ayn Zuriqa.
The SAA attack in the southern part of Eastern Ghouta was likely aimed at pressuring Jaysh al-Islam to prevent it from supporting the Ahrar al-Sham Movement attack on the Armored Vehicles base.