Syrian Army forces combating militants in Damascus area (Source: AP).

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:35 P.M.) – The Syrian Army and allied Palestinian forces have scored a noteworthy advance against Islamic State militants in two key terrorist-held districts of southern Damascus.

According to military-affiliated sources, the Syrian Army’s seasoned 4th Mechanized Division – supported by the National Defense Forces – managed to capture the Al-Jorah Orchards inside the Al-Qadam district, now giving fire control over the Al-Jorah neighborhood area.

On the southern side of the Hajjar al-Aswad district, government troops – backed up by armor and rocket artillery strikes – finally breached years-old ISIS frontline positions after days of non-stop bombardment with tank fire, artillery shelling and airstrikes.

According to Al-Masdar News journalist Ibrahim Joudeh, these most recent advances represent a definitive shattering of the Islamic State’s first line of defense around southern Damascus, at least in the Al-Qadam and Hajjar al-Aswad districts.

Updates to follow.

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