On November 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) entered the village of Kafr Hawr in the Western Ghouta region, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
Kafr Hawr locals had signed a reconciliation deal with the Syrian government. However, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda; HTS) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups didn’t respect the locals’ choice and used the village as a foothold for attacks against the SAA. On November 18, dozens of angry locals protested in Kafr Hawr and demanded HTS and FSA to leave the city immediately, according to opposition sources.
#Syria #Damascus AL Sheikh mountain – Photo’s From Activist who are Inside Kafr Hawr (Arabic: كفر حور; also spelled Kafr Hawar or Kafr Hur – “People gathered against the militants and protesting they get out of the village” pic.twitter.com/N87ING6X5G
— Ivan Sidorenko (@IvanSidorenko1) November 19, 2017
Local sources from the Western Ghouta-Quneitra region confirmed that the SAA entered Kafr Hawr and added that a large number of militants in the village surrendered to the SAA.
Thanks to deploying inside Kafr Hawr, the SAA effectively besieged the HTS-held villages of Beit Saber and Bytima from southwest, west, north and east, leaving HTS fighters with a narrow route towards Beit Jinn from the southeastern direction.
HTS fighters will likely withdraw from the villages of Beit Saber and Bytima towards Beit Jinn if the SAA and the locals pressure them enough.
The Israeli Army announced that its battle tank fired a warning shot against the SAA after it had tried strengthening a military post in the demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel.
In the last few hours, the Syrian Armed Forces violated the 1974 ceasefire by strengthening a military post in the demilitarized zone between Syria & Israel. In response, an IDF tank fired a warning shot towards the area
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 19, 2017
Pro-government sources confirmed the Israeli attack and said that the Israeli tanks fired at a position of the SAA in Qasr al-Naqr near the town of Hadar north of the Golan Heights. The Israeli warning shot didn’t result in any casualties.
On November 18, Israeli forces also fired a warning shot against an SAA position around Hadar. Pro-government activists believe that these attacks, are a message that Israel is upset because of the recent SAA advances in the Western Ghouta-Quneitra region.