18 January 2017
[See AMN website for map]
BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:15 P.M.) - The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been steadily advancing inside the Wadi Barada area of rural Damascus today, capturing several sites from the jihadist rebels of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) inside 'Ayn Al-Fijah.
Syrian Army soldiers from the 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division, alongside Republican Guard units, managed to seize a number of jihadist trenches in 'Ayn Al-Fijah, paving the way for their swift advance through this integral village.
According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army is now within distance of the strategic water well that feeds into the Syrian capital.
Once this water well is secured, government technicians can begin the restoration of the water supply to Damascus, ending the 4 week long crisis that is plaguing more than 5 million people.
In addition to this advance, the Syrian Arab Army killed one of the top officers from the Free Syrian Army during their military operations on Wednesday.
Colonel Hammoud Douka, a Syrian Arab Army defector, was killed while fighting alongside Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham in 'Ayn Al-Fijah, Syrian opposition activists reported.
How did this capital city become almost completely dependent on one water source? Crummy government administration, that's how. One hopes the situation has been a wakeup call.
I have been a strong supporter of Syria's government because it's been fighting a foreign incursion masquerading as a domestic uprising. But the minute the incursion has been put down, I will switch to being a strong critic of the government.
Granted, Assad didn't run the show when he was put in power; it was run by the Baath Party. But the help provided to his government by Russia has given Assad the power he needs to stand up to the party, and he'd better do so.