Following on from successes in Al-Otaiba, Eastern Damascus countryside, Syrian troops are continuing to push eastward in an apparent attempt to secure the surrounds of Damascus International Airport and to protect the city itself from rocket attacks.
The victories in Al-Otaiba, Al-Adra and other towns and villages in Eastern Ghouta follows string of successes by the Syrian Army and National Defence Forces in recent weeks. Both are on the offensive, securing areas on the outskirts of Damascus, the border with Lebanon and in the North of Syria where Jabhat al-Nusra and other extremist groups are very active.
Al-Otaiba was the passageway for to Al-Ghouta and thus provided an opportunity for armed groups to infiltrate or fire on Damascus city. According to both the Syrian Arab News Agency and Reuters the town is important not only because of its proximity to the capital, but also because it is an important link in the chain of the weapons supply route from Jordan.