On February 1, several Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in southern Syria announced in an official statement that they have launched a new military operation code-named “al-Fatihin Battle” against the ISIS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in the western Daraa countryside.
Several Syrian oppositions sources confirmed that the new military operation is fully backed by the Israeli Army. The sources even revealed that the Israeli Army launched several surface to surface missiles from its base in Tell al-Faras in the Golan Heights at several positions of Khalid ibn al-Walid Army in Tell Jumu’ and around the town of Tasil in the western Daraa countryside.
So far, the FSA and Khalid ibn al-Walid Army have not released any statements regarding the developments on the battlefield. This indicates that the FSA didn’t launch its ground attacks yet.
The plan to launch the joint Israeli-FSA military operation in southern Syria was first revealed in a report of the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi on December 2, 2017. According to the report, the joint military operation was agreed upon during a meeting between Israeli officials and FSA commanders in southern Syria.
The upcoming hours will likely witness more Israeli strikes and the beginning of the FSA ground attack on the positions of the ISIS-affiliated group in Tell Jumu’. However, observers doubt that the FSA will be able to advance, as its fighters had lost every single attack they launched against Khalid ibn al-Walid Army so far, including an attack that was supported by the US-led coalition in late 2017.
Syrian pro-government activists argue that FSA fighters in southern Syria are not willing to fight ISIS and that they are only using the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army as a pretext to get support from any side.