On November 15, Ahrar al-Sham officially declared a start of the operation to capture the Armored Vehicle Base and the nearby area from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.
Ahrar al-Sham, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and Faylaq al-Rahman launched their advance on November 14. Since then, an intense fighting has been ongoing in the area.
However, the official Ahrar al-Sham offensive declaration means that this is not a limited effort. The ceasefire region in Eastern Ghouta collapsed.
On November 15, the SAA and its allies captured the villages of Hazm, Kikiyah, al-Arfa and Rabdah from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in northern Hama.
Meanwhile, the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a announced that HTS recaptured Sarha village and Sarha hill in the nearby area. According to Iba’a, the SAA lost at least 3 soldiers and a battle tank in the clashes.
On the same day, six Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bombers carried out a massive strike on ISIS targets near the border city of al-Bukamal.
According to the Russian and Syrian defense ministries, al-Bukamal should be in hands of pro-government forces and only few ISIS members remained in the city. However, according to photos and videos from the area, clashes are still ongoing there.
The Hezbollah media wing in Syria claimed that the US-led coalition is hindering the SAA efforts to establish control over al-Bukamal. The coalition is reportedly jamming the SAA communications and even blocking some part of the airspace over al-Bukamal.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, claimed that ISIS members killed 7 SAA members, destroyed a bulldozer, a battle tank and damaged another battle tank in the al-Bukamal area.