Islamist rebels claim to have captured 40km of East Ghouta
December 18, 2013
GAINING GROUND? Rebel groups led by the Islamic Front broke past a regime blockade into the town of Adra al-Amalia in East Ghouta, 15 kilometers outside of Damascus on Monday, in a battle is it calling “The Allah as Highest and Mightiest Battle.”
In a joint statement read in part in this video, the Islamic Front’s Jaish al-Islam and other brigades said it had stormed into Adra al-Amalia “to break the blockade and allow flour from granaries into Adra.”
The rebel groups claimed to have killed “more than 800 fighters from the regime, including officers and experts from different nationalities,” and seized control of a 40-square-kilometer area in East Ghouta, destroyed 23 military vehicles and captured another 44.
Joining Jaish al-Islam in the statement was the Jund al-Malahim Brigades, a coalition of fighters from Jabhat a-Nusra, Ahrar a-Sham and others, as well as the Islamic Union of Sham Soldiers, Faylaq a-Rahman, Nour al-Ghouta and Jond al-Haq Brigades.
The pro-opposition Adra News Network reported that shelling continued Tuesday night on Adra.
Meanwhile, the pro-regime Salab News Network reports the Syrian army “continues to pursue militants in Adra al-Amalia, killing and injuring a number of them.” “Some of them were Arab citizens,” Salab added, suggesting the presence of non-Syrian rebel fighters.