The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a campaign in East Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Monday, in an attempt to quell support for anti-government groups and persuade said group’s constituents to stand down. The area was included in a ‘de-escalation zone’ after a deal was agreed between the Syrian government, anti-government groups, Russia, Iran and Turkey in May.
The Syrian Army, officially the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) , is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the most senior posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the combined services. The Syrian Army originated in local military forces formed by the French after World War I, after France obtained a mandate over the region. It officially came into being in 1945, before Syria obtained full independence the following year.