12:40 GMT25 June 2021
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    The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has engaged in fierce fighting with al-Nusra Front fighters in al Kabun, a neighborhood in Damascus, a senior military source told Sputnik Persian, adding that the SAA has advanced with great care so as not to hit densely populated residential buildings in the area.

    "In the last week, elite units of the SAA infantry have taken control over the so-called Kuwait building, an office of an electric company and nearby houses," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. "Many militants were arrested during the operation."

    Watch Sputnik's footage taken during the operation in al Kabun, alternatively spelled as Qaboun.

    The source added that the operation aimed at liberating al Kabun has to consist of three stages in order to be successful. The first one entails heavy artillery carrying out massive shelling of the districts held by the militants to clear the area of concrete blocks and buildings. The second phase involves specialized machinery clearing the area of debris. Finally, service personnel are sent to fight terrorists. 

    The source mentioned that the SAA infantry has carried out combat operations above the ground and in tunnels.

    A Syrian government forces' MiG-23 fighter-bomber drops a payload during a reported air strike in the rebel-held area of Qabun, east of the capital Damascus, on May 6, 2017.
    © AFP 2021 / AMER ALMOHIBANY
    A Syrian government forces' MiG-23 fighter-bomber drops a payload during a reported air strike in the rebel-held area of Qabun, east of the capital Damascus, on May 6, 2017.

    The SAA "has been focused on strategically important passageways," he said. "A tunnel between al Kabun and Arbeen was used to bring in military equipment, while a passage between al Kabun and Ghouta was used to deliver weapons and ammunition. The militants needed a tunnel between al Kabun and Barzeh to trade. All of these passageways have been blown up."

    The Syrian Arab Army launched a large-scale military operation aimed at liberating al Kabun and Barzeh in February. The two Damascus neighborhoods have been partially controlled by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, a terrorist organization formed by al-Nusra Front, the Ansar al-Din Front, Jaysh al-Sunna, Liwa al-Haqq, and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement in January 2017.

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