On March 4, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces captured the strategic town of al-Shaffoniya south of the Duma district in the East Ghouta region, near Damascus, according to Syrian pro-government sources. The SAA also reached the outskirts of the Misraba district and the town of Bayt Siwa witihn only 3,5km south of the 4th Armoured Division’s positions in the Armored Vehicles Base.
Pro-government activists reported that more than 40% of the East Ghouta pocket is currently under the control of the SAA and its allies.
Hamza Bayrakdar, a spokesman for Jaysh al-Islam, claimed that Jaysh al-Islam fighters had killed more than 150 SAA soldiers in a series of counter-attacks in East Ghouta. However, Bayrakdar’s claims were not confirmed by photos or videos.
The Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi reported that the SAA had deployed hundreds of soldiers, armored vehicles and dozens of artillery pieces of the 5th Assault Corps and the 1st Division to its positions around the East Ghouta pocket.
Pro-government activists reported that ISIS Hunters and Liwa al-Quds are preparing to join the SAA military operation in East Ghouta in the upcoming days.
These new reinforcements will likely allow the SAA to expand its operations in the heart of the militant-held pocket and to speed up its advance in the northern part of it.
Photos of the SAA advance in the southern part of East Ghouta: