Rebel groups expel ISIS from areas in Syria’s Qalamoun, killing dozens of militants

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Syrian rebels in Qalamoun. File photo

ARA News

HOMS ــ Subsequent to fierce battles with the radical group of the Islamic State (ISIS), Syrian rebel groups were able Saturday to regain control of several strategic locations from ISIS in the eastern Qalamoun in Syria’s province of Damascus, local sources reported.

Dozens of ISIS militants were killed during clashes with rebels in eastern Qalamoun on Saturday.

Speaking to ARA News in Damascus, local media activist Uday Mustafa confirmed that several opposition groups, mainly the so-called Usoud al-Sharqiya army, launched on Saturday a major attack on several ISIS-held positions in the eastern Qalamoun near Damascus. 

“The rebels were able to regain control of the Sin and Badia Cement factories after fierce clashes with the terror group,” Mustafa said, pointing out that the rebel groups were able to destroy a tank in addition to two ISIS-manned cars loaded with machine guns [caliber 14.5]. 

The source stressed that the clashes led to ISIS withdrawal to the eastern regions.

“The opposition factions have launched another major attack on locations of the extremist group in the Safa station, during which dozens of fighters have been killed on both sides,” Mustafa told ARA News.

“Our battles with ISIS in eastern Qalamoun led to the death of dozens of [ISIS] terrorists, while some others fled toward the Syrian desert to the east,” Husam Shadi, a rebel fighter in Qalamoun, told ARA News. 

“But, fighting is still ongoing in the region,” he reported.

At least 23 ISIS militants were killed during confrontations between the two sides, according to local activists.

The rebel groups view the Qalamoun as a base for launching operations against opponents around Damascus, and it also serves as a critical line of communication with their Sunni peers in Lebanon. Also, the region links Damascus to the regime’s Alawites enclaves on the coast.

The eastern Qalamoun areas of Damascus have been witnessing fierce fighting between several conflicting forces, including ISIS, opposition factions, and the pro-regime troops. 

Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa

Source: ARA News

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