BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:15 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has begun their long-awaited offensive to seize the two east Damascus suburbs of Al-Qaboun and Barzeh from the Islamist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.

Led by their elite 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and 106th Brigade of the Republican Guard, the Syrian Arab Army began firing missiles at Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham’s positions in Barzeh and Al-Qaboun, scoring direct hits on the Islamist rebels.

According to Al-Masdar field correspondent in Damascus, Ibrahim Joudeh, the Syrian Arab Army is launching nonstop missile strikes on the enemy defenses in order to weaken their fortifications before storming the front-lines.
Moreover, reports from Syrian Army personnel participating in this offensive told Al-Masdar News on Saturday that elders in Barzeh and Al-Qaboun rushed to meet with military officers about surrendering these suburbs without a fight.

Unfortunately, the biggst deterent to the reconciliation process are the former Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham militants that are opposed to ending the fight against the Syrian Arab Army and government forces.

The Al-Qaboun suburb is very strategic as its located at the eastern entrance of the capital and it connects Barzeh with the East Ghouta, where militants try to smuggle weapons and supplies to this region.