Five days following their meeting, Jaysh Al-Islam carries out a violent attack and advances at the expense of Tahrir Al-Sham, Al-Rahman Corps arrests members of the latter
A third group dissents from Ahrar Al-Sham Movement and Al-Rahman Corps takes control of all of the Movement positions in Harasta
Tensions persist in the Eastern Ghouta as a result of the internal fighting, dissents and arrests within the main factions operating there. Specifically, the SOHR learned that Jaysh Al-Islam executed a violent attack this morning, Monday the 7th of August 2017, targeting a position of Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham in Al-Ash’ari area in the Eastern Ghouta. Following a violent battle with Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, Jaysh Al-Islam managed to take control of Al-Ash’ari Mosque and School and about 25 farms which used to be under the control of Tahrir Al-Sham. Violent battles are still ongoing between both parties in places in Al-Ash’ari area in an attempt by Jaysh Al-Islam to put an end to Tahrir Al-Sham presence in the Eastern Ghouta. The SOHR observed that the fighters of Al-Rahman Corps set checkpoints at the central sector of the Eastern Ghouta and that they have been arresting all those affiliated with Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham. On the other hand, Al-Rahman Corps successfully took control of all of the sites of Ahrar Al-Sham Islamic Movement in ‘Arbin after a third group dissent from the Movement to join the ranks of the Corps. This group consisted of 75 members of Ahrar Al-Sham. Thus, the presence of fighters and members of Ahrar Al-Sham is now limited to Harasta area.
The SOHR published yesterday that a battalion of the Islamic Movement of Ahrar Sham defected from the movement and joined Rahman Corps. Reliable sources confirmed to the Observatory that the numbers of the battalion’s members is about 120 members and fighters, and they defected with their weapons and equipment, and went to join al-Rahman Corps, which its fronts are witnessing daily clashes against regime concentrated in both fronts of Jobar and Ein Tarma, in the capital Damascus and the outskirts of the in the Western Ghouta.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 30th July 2017 that a battalion belong to the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham had defected from it, and in details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights from several sources; an Ahrar al-Sham battalion of 50 about fighters defected from the Movement, and went to join the Rahman Corps with their gear and equipment.
The SOHR also published on the 2nd of August 2017 that a long meeting was held between the leaders of the two factions in the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus, in which they agreed on certain points, the most important of which are halting the media war between both parties, in addition to putting an end to the fighting between them completely, and settling all their unresolved issues. Sources stressed that consensus was reached in the meeting between the two parties on the situation of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham in the Eastern Ghouta, but no information has been reported so far about whether they reached a consensus on Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham itself.
It should be noted that both Ahrar Al-Sham Islamic Movement, which has around 1000 fighters in the Eastern Ghouta, and Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham had supported Al-Rahman Corps in the last battle that took place as a result of the violent attack carried out by their fighters on Damascus over the period from the 19th of March till the 25th of March 2017. The SOHR documented then the death of at least 82 members of the regime forces, including 9 officers at least, and their allied militiamen, of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, as a result of the attack. In addition, the SOHR documented the death of at least 115 of Al-Rahman Corps, Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham and Ahrar Al-Sham Islamic Movement. Both factions had also backed Al-Rahman Corps in their fighting against Jaysh Al-Islam in April 2016 and April 2017, which left hundreds of fighters of all parties to the fighting dead and tens of civilians dead and wounded.