On January 19, at least 14 Syrian security officers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck a bus that was carrying them from the southern governorate of Daraa to the capital, Damascus.
The attack took place on a road between the towns of Saida and Eastern Ghariyah in the eastern countryside of the govenrroate.
In a statement, the Syrian Ministry of Interior said that the 14 security officers were on their way back from the Nassib crossing on the border with Jordan. The ministry noted that the officers were only lightly wounded by some shrapnel and broken glass.
Following the attack, security forces conducted a combing operation along Saida-Eastern Ghariyah road and were able to uncover a second IED.
The last few days saw a surge in attacks targeting government forces in Daraa. On January 16, an IED attack that took place in the northern part of the governorate’s city center claimed the life of Mohamad Bassam Turki al-Masalmah, a local pro-government field commander who used to work with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA)’s elite 4th Division. On January 18, unidentified gunmen attacked a joint checkpoint of the SAA’s 52nd Brigade and the Air Force Intelligence Directorate near the town of Mlaiha al-Garbiah in the eastern countryside of the governorate. Two service members were allegedly killed.
The situation in Daraa appears to be deteriorating, once again. Government forces may move to impose strict security measures in the governorate very soon.