The Assad regime continued its aerial assault on the Jobar section of northeast Damascus on Wednesday, hoping to break resistance in the areas long held by insurgents.
Opposition activists reported a day of airstrikes and artillery attacks. Videos showed a heavy barrage:
State news agency SANA wrote of “heavy strikes on terrorists” and “important advances on many directions, controlling more buildings and destroying a net of tunnels”. It claimed slain fighters included “mercenaries of Saudi and Sudanese nationalities”.
Jobar has been contested since early 2013, with the insurgents holding most of the suburb and the East Ghouta area just to the east.
In recent days, the Syrian military has stepped up ground attacks, hoping to move into the center of Jobar, without success. Insurgent sources claim scores of regime troops have been killed, with the loss of several tanks and armored vehicles.
Activist: Insurgent Attacks Reduce Hama Military Airport’s Operations by 80%
Abu Yazan a-Naimi of the Hama Media Center has told Syria Direct that insurgent attacks have curbed operations at Hama Military Airport to 20% of its capacity.
The activist said insurgents are now only two kilometers away from the airport, one of the most important for the Syrian regime for transport and bombing. He said Grad rockets are being fired daily, and fighters have bombed the airport with 120mm mortars for the first time in the 42-month conflict.
A-Naimi said insurgents took the key checkpoint of Btaish, between insurgent-controlled Halfaya and regime-controlled Mherda. The advance opens the way for attacks on Mherda, which insurgents have been threatening for the past week.
Insurgents Take Building Near Police HQ at Aleppo Citadel
Insurgents claim they have taken a building near the police headquarters at the Citadel in the center of Aleppo:
Insurgents carried out a series of attacks on and near the Citadel this spring, including underground detonations on targets like the military position in the Carlton Citadel Hotel; however, the opposition fighters have been under increasing pressure this summer as the regime tried to surround their areas in eastern Aleppo.
Insurgents Claim Further Gains in Quneitra Offensive
Insurgents have claimed more gains of territory and destruction of Syrian heavy weapons in their offensive in Quneitra Province in the southwest.
The fighters, naming the offensive “al-Mugheerat Subhan”, said they took control of a checkpoint near a hospital in Majduliyah, southeast of Quneitra city (see map).
They claimed the destruction of a Syrian tank with a Chinese-made HJ-8 anti-tank missile:
Footage from distance of the fighting in Majduliyah:
Insurgents firing on a regime position on Tel Braq with a howitzer:
President Assad Thanks Iran for Its Help
President Assad has given a personal thanks to Iran for its economic assistance, receiving former Oil Minister Rustam Qassemi.
Qassemi is now head of the Iranian-Syrian Economic Relations Development Committee. Before his service as Oil Minister from 2011 to 2013, he was head of the Revolutionary Guards’ division for engineering, infrastructure, and logistics.
According to Syrian State media, he told Assad on Wednesday “that the Iranian leadership is committed to working with Syria to bolster its steadfastness, and that Iran is prepared to offer its expertise and all that is necessary to help Syria in the issue of reconstruction”.