The Military Situation in Damascus City – The Capital of Syria | archicivilians
Damascus City, the most important spot in Syria since it is the capital of the country. At the beginning of the armed revolution, Rebels started the military operation around the city and were able to take many areas in Eastern Ghouta, Western Ghouta and Wadi Barada Area in the north western outskirts of the city. In 2012, Rebels managed to take control of Barzeh, Tishreen, Qaboun and parts of Jobar in the eastern side of the city, and Darayya, Muddamiyat al-Sham and parts of Kafr Souseh in the western side of the city. After they secured their position in Qalamoun Mounts between Damascus and the Lebanese borders, Rebels advanced toward the city and took many areas in the northern outskirts of the city, including Wadi Barada area, al-Tall, Maneen and Ma’raba, getting closer to Qassion Mount and the presidential palace. In the summer of 2012, Rebels advanced rapidly to the southern districts of the city, controlling Hajar al-Aswad, al-Qadam, Yarmouk Camp, al-Tadamon, Babbila, Yalda, Beit Sahem, Daff al-Shouk and parts of Midan, Zahera and Sayyidah Zaynab.
Rebels realized that it is very important to focus on the military areas instead of the populated areas only, and the Regime troops may reach the besieged military bases at any moment and push Rebels backwards to resist any siege attempt on the Rebel-held populated areas. In the mid and late 2012, Rebels managed to besiege Damascus International Airport, the Armored Vehicle Base in Harasta and Brigade 39 in Adra area, and took control of Marj al-Sultan Airbase, Sayyidah Zaynab Airbase, Brigade 22, Regiment 81, Regiment 246 and Regiment 274 which was known as one of the largest Regiments in Syria. Rebels gained Russian 9K33 Osa (Surface-to-air missile) after controlling the Air-Defense Base in Eastern Ghouta.
During the Rebellion offensives on the city in 2012 and early 2013, the Regime was able to maintain the control of the supply lines. The Regime launched a strong offensive in the early of 2013, and was able to cut the Rebel supply lines to Western Damascus districts (Darayya and Muddamiyat al-Sham) by taking Judaydat al-Fadl, Judaydat Artouz and Artouz area in Western Ghouta. Another Regime offensive was launched in the early of 2013 on the areas around Damascus International Airport, the Regime broke the siege on the Airport and took control of Harran al-Awamid and Otaybah, and besieging al-Ghizlaniyah village near the Airport. It was a strategic advancement by the Regime after taking Otaybah area and the villages around it (Jarba, Bahariyah and Qasimiyah); Rebels lost their supply lines to Eastern Ghouta after they withdrew from the strategic areas of Otaybah and Adra (which were used by Rebels to connect Eastern Ghouta with Eastern RifDimashq Province.
The largest Regime offensive was led by Hezbollah and Iraqi militias Zul Faqqar Brigade and Abul Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, launched on Southern Damascus in the mid of 2013. The Regime was able to besiege Rebels in Southern Damascus districts after taking Sbeneh, Hussayniyah, Buwayda, Hujjeira, Aqrabah areas, and breaking the siege on Sayyidah Zaynab. After retaking many areas in and around the city, the Regime preferred to sign truce agreements with some Rebellion groups in the besieged areas in order to focus on the important front-lines like Jobar, Mleha, Darayya and Eastern Ghouta. Truce agreements were signed in Barzeh, Southern Damascus and in Wadi Barada area (mainly in al-Haameh and Qudsayya). Some truce agreements have ended after the Regime’s failed attempts to storm the areas, like Beit Sahem, Hajar al-Aswad, Qaboun and Harasta.
In late 2013 and early 2014, Rebels in Eastern Ghouta launched strong offensive in order to break the siege on the area. Two to three months of the ongoing battles; Rebels were able to retake Jarba, Qasimiyah, Bilaliyah, Bahariyah, Adra, and parts of Abbadeh, Qaysa and Deir Salman. The Regime launched an offensive on Mleha area near Jaramana, which is known as the western gate of Eastern Ghouta. After 135 days of the ongoing battle and heavy losses from both sides, the Regime was able to take Mleha, Hatitat al-Jarash and advance to the outskirts of Zabdin village. After they lost Mleha, Rebels launched a new military operation around Jaramana and they were able to control Dukhaniyah area for several weeks only, and retreated toward Ein Tarma Valley.
In the late of 2014, the Regime launched new military operations in Adra area, ended up by taking Adra Omaliya, Adra town, Tall Kurdi, Tall al-Sawwan and breaking the siege on Brigade 39. Nowadays, the most active front-lines in the city taking place in Darayya, Jobar, Harasta, Wafidin Camp near Douma and Tall Kurdi near Adra. Few clashes taking place in Southern Damascus (mainly in Yarmuk Camp and al-Tadamon) and in Wadi Barada area (mainly in Baseema).