On June 16, leader of the US-backed Alwiya al-Furqan Free Syrian Army (FSA) group Mohammed Majid al-Khatib said on his Telegram channel that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies may launch their long awaited military operation in southern Syria in the upcoming hours.
Al-Khatib claimed that Russia, the UK and the U.S. failed to reach an agreement on southern Syria during a recent meeting. The commander didn’t reveal his sources, but the U.S. Military Operations Center (MOC) in Jordan usually provides the FSA with such important information.
Two days earlier, the U.S. Department of State warned that the U.S will take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to any attack of the SAA on the “de-escalation zone” in southwestern Syria.
Hours after U.S. threats, Syria’s Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub visited SAA troops in the southern governorates of Daraa and al-Quneitra and inspected their readiness, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Despite this high tension, the SAA and its allies will not likely launch their attack in southern Syria during the Eid al-Fitr holiday [it ends on June 17] in order to avoid criticism in the society.