Pictures posted on web-sites by Islamic State sympathisers show military activity in the Al-Qadam neighbourhood, south of Damascus.
The pictures show groups of IS fighters roaming through the Al-Qadam neighbourhood and with stocks of M16 and other associated automatic rifles and stores of mortars that the groups and its affiliates have stockpiled.
The proximity to Damascus shows the reach of IS groups who have become the opposition fighting force in Syria. With the Free Syrian Army (FSA), lacking in strategic cohesion or military capability, Islamic State fighters and their offshoots have become the most potent fighting force in Syria with more and more defections taking place. For example, reports are coming through of the possible defection of the Commander of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front in Horan who is alleged to have joined IS backed Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk.
Increasingly, a frustrated US who looked to the Free Syrian Army as being the main hope in the country, has resorted to military operations, given the increasingly desperate situation in Syria with the growth and the defections to IS.