A so-called monitoring group says about 170 people have been killed during a fresh wave of infighting between foreign-sponsored Takfiri groups over the control of an area near the Syrian capital city of Damascus.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday that clashes between the Saudi-backed Jaysh al-Islam militant group and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror outfit in the Eastern Ghouta region have left 156 militants dead since April 28.
The group noted that 67 slain militants were from the Jaysh al-Islam while the rest hailed from the Fateh al-Sham and allied Faylaq al-Rahman Takfiri groups.
The fighting also killed 13 civilians, including two children, and wounded dozens more.
Jaysh al-Islam terrorist group said in a statement that it had ended its operation against Fateh al-Sham after having obtained “most of its goals.”
SOHR Director Rami Abdel Rahman said the “situation has returned to how it was before,” adding that “each side has taken back the areas it lost during the fighting.”
He said Fateh al-Sham had been weakened by the fighting, and had leaned heavily on Faylaq al-Sham for support during the fierce exchanges of gunfire and heavy shelling.
Jaysh al-Islam is the dominant Takfiri group in Eastern Ghouta. One of the group’s leaders, Mohammad Alloush, is among the senior negotiators of the so-called opposition group at Syrian peace talks in Geneva.
Damascus has long been saying that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are funding and arming anti-Syria terrorist groups, including Takfiri Daesh terrorists.