On August 1, ISIS cells launched a ground attack from their positions in the eastern al-Suwyada countryside on the Khalkhalah airbase in the northern countryside of the governorate, according to the Syrian news outlet Enab Baladi.
The pro-opposition news outlet said that ISIS fighters killed eight soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the clashes around the airbase. However, the SAA managed to repel the terrorist group’s attack after a few hours of the clashes.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the SAA artillery shelled several positions and hideouts of ISIS cells in the eastern al-Suwayda countryside. The shelling was likely a response to the attack on Khalkhalah airbase.
Earlier, the SAA began re-deploying some units from the southern governorate of Quneitra to the eastern al-Suwayda countryside. According to Syrian pro-government sources, the SAA and local fighters are planning to launch a military operation to crush ISIS cells operating in the area.
More than 250 civilians and local fighters were massacred by ISIS cells in the western al-Suwayda countryside last week, in the biggest attack on the southeastern governorate since the outbreak of the Syria war.