On May 4, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Palestinian Liberation Army and other pro-government factions developed their military operations in the ISIS-held al-Hajar al-Aswad district, south of the city of Damascus. Government forces captured the main administrative building of the district and the workers’ club stadium, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
The SAA and its allies split the ISIS-held pocket south of Damascus on May 3 capturing several key positions between the al-Hajar al-Aswad district and the Yarmouk refugee camp.
Syrian pro-government sources reported that the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces had stepped up their bombing campaign against the remaining ISIS positions in the Yarmouk camp and the northern part of al-Hajar al-Aswad.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed that ISIS fighters had destroyed and damaged three battle tanks, a BMP-1 armored vehicle and a Shilka vehicle of the SAA during the clashes south of Damascus.
Local observers believe that the SAA and its allies will intensify their ground operations in the Yarmouk camp in order to push the besieged ISIS fighters to a full collapse. A similar tactic was successfully implemented by the SAA during the battle of Deir Ezzor in late 2017.