On November 30, the Ahrar al-Sham Movement announced that it has repelled an attack of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on its positions inside the Armored Vehicles Base south of Harasta in the Eastern Ghouta region. Ahrar al-Sham said that its fighters destroyed a battle tank of the SAA and killed its crew during the clashes in the base.
Syrian pro-government sources claimed on November 21 that the SAA had recaptured all the positions in the Armored Vehicles Base. However, Syrian opposition sources said that Ahrar al-Sham still controls several positions in the command section of the base.
Meanwhile, local sources reported that the SAA shelled some points in Jobar, Ayn Tarma, Harasta and Irbin districts east of the Syrian capital, Damascus.
In a related development, Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian adviser on Syria said that “there is only escalation” in the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone, according to Reuters news agency.
“In general I would say that no, there is no calm in this de-escalation zone, there is only escalation in this de-escalation zone … That has ended in eastern Ghouta except for (a pause of) two days only, there has been massive loss of civilian life, hundreds and hundreds have been wounded,” Egeland said according to Reuters.
The de-escalation zone in Eastern Ghouta fully collapsed after Ahrar al-Sham Movement launched their attack on the Armored Vehicle Base on November 15. Before that, Faylaq al-Rahman also launched several limited attacks against the SAA in Jobar district.
These attacks show that Syrian opposition armed groups in Eastern Ghouta have never actually respected the de-escalation agreement. These groups likely see the de-escalation agreement as a way to receive aid.