Earlier this week, the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate (AFID) launched a security operation against terrorist cells and arms traffickers in the district of Barzeh east of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The Damascus Voice pro-opposition news outlet revealed on November 20 that several former elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) 1st Brigade, including its leader “Abu al-Tyaib” and three field commanders “Abu Mahjub,” “Muru” and “Abu Fu’ad al-Habashi,” were arrested by the AFID during the operation.
Two days later, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Syrian security forces had uncovered weapons caches in Barzeh. The caches contained assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades, ammunition, explosives, suicide belts and communication systems.
Barzeh was returned under government control in May 2017 when local FSA groups, including the 1st Brigade, accepted a reconciliation agreement. However, many former elements of the FSA remained engaged in criminal activities, including weapons trafficking. This forced the Syrian intelligence to intervene into the situation.