Syrian Troops Break Into ISIS-held Damascus District, Reports State TV

State news agency SANA said Thursday that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed in battles in the southern Damascus neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad

Syrian President Bashar Assad talking with troops in Eastern Ghouta, March 18, 2018.
HO/AFP

Syrian state media is reporting that government forces have pushed into a Damascus neighborhood held by the Islamic State group from different directions and captured buildings on several street blocks and tunnels used by the extremists.

State news agency SANA said Thursday that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed in battles in the southern Damascus neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad during which ground forces closely coordinated with the air force in bombarding the area.

The opposition’s Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian authorities ordered rebel groups in the southern Damascus suburbs of Babila, Beit Sahm and Yalda to hand over fronts lines with ISIS in the area or face government bombardment.

The Observatory said the government wants to open new fronts against ISIS to expand pressure on the extremists.