On March 17, ISIS fighters attacked a key position of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the al-Qadam district south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq.
Amaq said that ISIS fighters had killed 25 SAA soldiers and had destroyed two battle tanks belonging to the SAA with rocket-propelled grenades and IEDs.
Syrian opposition sources added that ISIS had captured all the positions from which Syrian opposition fighters had withdrawn on March 13.
In response to the ISIS attack, warplanes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) conducted a series of airstrikes on ISIS positions in the al-Qadam district and the Yarmouk refugees camp, east of it, for the first time in years according to pro-government sources.
Several pro-government activists said that the ISIS success in al-Qadam district was a result of the bad timing of the evacuation agreement with the opposition fighters in the district. The activists added that the agreement had been poorly executed and had lacked any real organization. This allowed ISIS to launch its attack.
ISIS will likely expand its operations against the SAA south of Damascus in the upcoming days. The group views the al-Qadam front as a valuable exploit in the SAA defense.
Photos of SyAAF airstrikes on ISIS in the al-Qadam district and the Yarmouk refugees camp: