Government forces are developing an advance against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies in the Wadi Barada area near Damascus.
On January 11, the Syrian army entered the villages of Ayn al-Fijah and Baseema in the southeastern part of the pocket, engaging militants in intense fighting there. On January 12, government forces continued to clash with militants inside Ayn al-Fijah and Baseema, and also gained the area on a high ground north of Ayn al-Fijah.
The tactical goal of the Syrian army is to gain control of all hilltops around the militant-held villages. This will allow the army to distract anti-government units operating in the area and to liberate Wadi Barada villages one by one.
Reports about a number of militants that had surrendered to government forces in Ayn al-Fijah and Baseema have not been confirmed yet.
The map shows the military situation in Wadi Barada, located northwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus, on January 12, 2017: