Since this morning, Haya’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) fighters have captured a large chunk of the area controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the strategic Al-Minshyah neighborhood in the city of Daraa.
This major advance came after the SAA defenses in the neighborhood collapsed as a result of multiple HTS attacks that had taken place since the beginning of this year. According to pro-opposition sources, HTS fighters targeted a fortified SAA point this morning with a house full of explosives – a new tactic used for HTS fighters in Daraa – destroying the whole point.
HTS fighters took over the Al-Maqssam strategic point and two other support points around it. Furthermore, HTS was able to take over the Muaya’a school and the Oqba Bin Nafya mosque. HTS fighters reportedly destroyed a SAA 23mm gun in the Al-Suhnah neighborhood.
The SAA’s artillery units targeted HTS fighters gatherings in Al-Saad and Al-Mugheer neighborhoods in Daraa Al-Balad in an attempt to stop the HTS advance. The Syrian Air Force also bombed a HTS HQ in Al-Nuymah village in the Daraa countryside.
It should be noted that the SAA in Daraa has not received any real back up despite heavy HTS attacks taking place in the area for a long time. The SAA also failed to reorganize its troops and defenses using the available resources. According to sources in the SAA, there was very little coordination between the SAA and its allies in Daraa and almost no coordination at all between the command on the ground and the Syrian and Russian air forces for unknown reasons. These factors resulted in a failure on the ground.