Former rebels from the southern Syrian governorate of Daraa will join the battle against ISIS cells in the central region, Enab Baladi reported on February 25.
According to the pro-opposition outlet, fighters from the 8th Brigade, a unit of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) 5th Crops that is dedicated for former rebels in Daraa, are already on their way to the central region.
A source familiar with the issue told Enab Baladi that the plan to deploy former rebels in the central region was agreed upon in a recent meeting between senior Russian officers and Ahmed Al-Ouda, the commander of the 8th Brigade.
“A military convoy of the 5th Corps left this morning, February 25, from Daraa, towards the Syrian desert,” the source said. “The 5th Crops fighters will be situated on the road between Palmyra and the city of al-Mayadin, south of Deir Ezzor.”
Tens of thousands of rebels in Daraa joined the reconciliation process following a large-scale operation by the SAA and its allies in mid-2018.
Right after joining the reconciliation process, the former rebels neutralized the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in wester Daraa. Later in the same year, they helped drive ISIS cells out from northern al-Suwayda.
ISIS cells launched dozens of attacks against the SAA and its allies from their main stronghold in the central region, the Homs desert, over the last year.
The deployment of former Daraa rebels in central Syria will mount more pressure on ISIS cells. At the same time, this will improve coordination between the SAA and the former rebels.
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