On Monday evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured most of the Al-Rahbeh area some 25 kilometers north of the Zuluf dam which was captured the day before.
According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, the SAA did not come in direct contact with US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups known to be operating in the desert of Rif Dimashq. However, the warring parties did exchange artillery shells amid the rapid government advance.
If the SAA’s Republican Guard – backed by Druze fighters and Russian special forces – are able to advance 30 kilometers further north, government troops will have cutoff a massive rebel area on the southeastern outskirts of Damascus which is bound to collapse in the near future.
Due to recent government advances, SAA contingents have retaken some 70 kilometers of the Jordanian border in barely a week.
Meanwhile, the FSA announced they would begin a major counter-offensive dubbed ‘Burkan Al-Badiya’ (Vulcano of the desert) to retake areas recently liberated by government forces.
However, according to field correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh, the FSA announcement is nothing but a farce as less than 500 rebel militants are deployed in the region with virtually zero armored vehicles, completely outnumbered by the SAA convoys which boast thousands of seasoned troops.
If the SAA offensive goes to plan, government forces will have secured Damascus and Sweida province for good. Meanwhile, a launching pad to retake the Al-Tanf border region will have been established.