BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:47 P.M.) – Moments ago, vanguard forces of the Syrian Army scored a major advance inside rebel-controlled areas of Damascus’ East Ghouta region, seizing the militant stronghold towns of Uataya, An-Nashabiyah and Hazrama.
The victory was achieved after an entire day of heavy clashes between the Syrian Army and rebel forces of the Jaysh al-Islam faction near to and inside Uataya.
In the end, superior firepower in the form of tanks, artillery and airstrikes would propel Syrian troops to overrun all militant defense lines and strong-points within the town.
By this advance, the Syrian Army virtually isolated the towns of An-Nashabiyah and Hazrama from all other militant-held areas within East Ghouta and de facto split to the insurgent pocket into two.
However, when the Syrian Army entered An-Nashabiyah and Hazrama, it found the towns to be completely bereft of insurgent fighters who had fled both settlements in the final hours of the Uataya battle to avoid being encircled.
Thus in a day of campaigning, the Syrian Army has managed to wrest control of three large towns in East Ghouta which for years prior represented unbreachable militant strongholds.


Syrian Army Captures Three Key Towns, Repels Militant Attack In East Ghouta (Map, Photos)
On March 3, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces captured the strategic towns of Utaya, Hazrama and al-Nashabiyah in the southern part of the East Ghouta pocket, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.
The SAA captured the towns of Hazrama and al-Nashabiyah on February 25. However, a counter-attack by Jaysh al-Islam forced the SAA to withdraw from them back then.
Furthermore, Syrian pro-government sources confirmed that the SAA’s 4th Division had repelled an attack by the Ahrar al-Sham Movement on its positions in the Harasta district in the northern part of the pocket. SAA soldiers killed over 50 fighters of Ahrar al-Sham, according to the sources.
Meanwhile, Jaysh al-Islam claimed that its fighters had repelled an attack by the SAA on their positions in the town of al-Rayhanah in the eastern part of the East Ghouta pocket and had killed 12 SAA soldiers. However, pro-government sources reported that units of the Tiger Forces had manged to capture all the farms north and north east of al-Rayhanah.
The towns of al-Rayhanah, Shaffoniya, Bayt Na’im and Hawsh al-Ash’ari are the next targets of the SAA and its allies, according to local observers. Syrian opposition sources said that the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces are already targeting the militants’ positions in these towns.
Government forces are in the souhern part of the East Ghouta pocket: