On March 3, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces advanced in the heart of the East Ghouta pocket and captured the al-Oabb farms between the districts of Duma and Misraba and the town of al-Shaffoniya, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
The SAA also captured the key towns of al-Rayhanah, Bayt Na’im and al-Muhammadiyah in the southern and eastern parts of East Ghouta. Moreover, the SAA cut off the roads between the Duma district and the town of al-Shaffoniya after it had captured several positions in the northern part of the town.
Meanwhile, Jaysh al-Islam’s defense collapsed and its fighters began an unorganized withdrawal toward their heartland, Duma district, according to Syrian pro-government activists.
However, Hamza Bayrakdar spokesman of Jaysh al-Islam claimed in an official statement that Jaysh al-Islam fighters had killed 459 SAA soldiers and had destroyed 7 armored vehicles of the SAA over the last month.
Pro-government activists viewed Bayrakdar’s statement as a propaganda stunt, which is aimed at increase the morale of Jaysh al-Islam supporters. Similar propaganda moves were implemented by the militants in the city of Aleppo during the SAA attack in 2016.