As internal rifts rage among Syrian rebels, pro-regime forces make new gains in Damascus

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Syrian rebels during clashes against pro-Assad forces in Aleppo. File photo

ARA News

DAMASCUS – Taking advantage of the ongoing internal rifts among rebel groups, pro-regime forces were able to control several locations in the town of Zibdeen in the Eastern Ghouta near Syria’s capital Damascus, local sources reported on Monday.

Speaking to ARA News in Damascus, media activist Abdul Ghani al-Amer said that the pro-regime forces launched a major offensive on positions of the Syrian rebel groups on the outskirts of the town of Zibdeen.

Fierce clashes erupted between the two sides and lasted for several hours, before the regime forces took over key areas near Zabdeen. 

“A number of rebel fighters have been killed in the regime-led operations in the Eastern Ghouta,” the source reported.

The clashes were coupled with artillery shelling by the regime’s army forces on the rebels’ headquarters in the region. 

“Pro-Assad forces try to exploit the ongoing fighting between the rebel factions of the Jaish al-Islam on the one hand and the al-Rahman Corps and Jaish al-Fustat on the other hand,” a spokesman for the Jaish al-Islam told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Syrian opposition activists blamed the Jaish al-Islam and al-Rahman Corps for the fall of some locations to the regime’s army, warning if the internal conflict continued among Syrian rebels, the regime’s forces will most likely seize control of the remaining areas in the Eastern Ghouta within days.

In the meantime, the pro-regime warplanes conducted several raids on the town of Beit Jann in Damascus suburbs, and threw scrap of papers over the towns of Abbasid and Khan al-Sheeh in the western Ghouta in a bid to incite opposition fighters to surrender.

Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa

Source: ARA News

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