Russian jets backed on Thursday Syrian regime forces in their efforts to release army members trapped in the Military Vehicles Administration, east Damascus, after opposition forces launched an attack that killed and trapped tens of regime forces, including high-ranking officers.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that at least four airstrikes have targeted the regime-trapped town of Masraba, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 40 others.
The regime forces engaged in clashes against opposition factions, which were capable in the past few days to trap a regime base near Damascus.
Those forces called for military reinforcements from Damascus and for fighters from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to help them in their attack.
Pro-regime Syrian Al-Watan newspaper said on Thursday that the Syrian forces “have greatly mobilized on the outskirts of Harasta and have started working to remove terrorists from the Military Vehicles Administration.”
Mohammed Alloush, leader of Jaish al-Islam, one of the main factions fighting in eastern Ghouta, accused the Syrian forces of preparing the assault on the area for more than a month ago.
He denied on Thursday that the escalation of regime bombing was linked to the factions’ shelling of regime forces positions.
“Those forces have been mobilizing near our fronts for more than a month to attack Damascus’ eastern Ghouta,” he said.
For its part, the opposition Syrian National Coalition group said that Russia has expanded its military operations in each of Damascus and its surroundings, and the Idlib province, killing tens of civilians and causing one hospital to close down.
On Thursday, regime forces also expanded the size of their controlled-areas in eastern Idlib, according to reports published by the opposition-owned Sham News agency.
The news agency said that regime forces were capable to advance in the area without any resistance.