The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) regained the initiative in eastern Damascus days after Hayʼat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies had launched an attack in the neighborhood of Jobar on March 19, 2017.
This morning the SAA recaptured the textile factory in the Qabun industrial area according to media reports. Thus, the SAA got back a majority of the points lost to militants at the beginning of the attack.
Government forces are advancing in Jobar:
The Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) intensified its airstrikes against military targets in the militant-held part of the Jobar neighborhood. The SAAF used Su-22m3 bombers known by their excellent performance at low altitude.
The SAA’s Republican Guard returned to use “Golan 400” launchers (mostly used against targets inside the Qawbun pocket) and a UR-77 Meteorit system to target militant reinforcements and targets at the front lines.
A fresh photo of “Golan 400” launchers in eastern Damascus:
An old video shows how the UR-77 Meteorit system works:
In turn, HTS fighters use mortars and “hell cannons” against the government-held neighborhoods, causing material damage and injuring many non-combatants, including a correspondent of the Syrian state-run news agency ‘SANA’.
Pro-SAA media outlets announced that more than 150 HTS militants were killed in the recent clashes. Many of the killed militants were allies.
It was also reported that SAA snipers killed several gunmen of HTS during their withdrawal from the textile plant area.
The whole militant operation is aimed at breaking the Syrian army’s siege on the area of Qaboun and opening a corridor from it to Jobar.
Initially, HTS and allies successfully used the surprise element, but they failed to develop momentum in the captured areas. Likely, militants just underestimated the Republican Guard’s defensive capabilities in the area.