February 20, 2018

Under bombs, Syria rebels cling on in Eastern Ghouta -- for now

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Daily Mail

Journalist AFP Staff

Despite a crippling siege, infighting and a ferocious wave of bombardment, Syrian rebels have clung on to their Eastern Ghouta stronghold near Damascus -- but a looming ground offensive might finally oust them.

A renewed regime air campaign has left nearly 200 civilians dead in just three days, and signals the government is gearing up to make an all-out push to seize the enclave.

When Syrians broke out in protest against leader Bashar al-Assad's rule in 2011, Eastern Ghouta joined in, and rebels captured it the following year.

Rebel control is now divided between two groups: Jaish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, both of which have pledged to mount a fierce defence against a regime assault.

The fighters have already survived five years of bombardment and siege, drawing on their local roots and smuggling tunnels.

Read the full article in The Daily Mail.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...