On February 8, an unnamed source of the ISIS-affiliated Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid told to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq that the radical group had repelled the Israeli-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) attack on its positions in the western Daraa countryside. According to the source, Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid fighters killed 21 fighters and commanders of the FSA.
The Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi confirmed the Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid claims and even reported that over 30 fighters of the FSA were killed by the ISIS-affiliated group, including al-Haramain Brigade leader “Sami al-Saffouri” and “Omar Saleh Juma”, a general commander of the Revolution Army.
Moreover, Amaq reported that Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid launched a counter-attack against the FSA positions in the village of Hayat in the western Daraa countryside on February 9 and captured several positions around the village.
Several Syrian oppositions sources acknowledged that the Israel-backed FSA attack failed although that Israel conducted several airstrikes at positions of the ISIS-affiliated group as it promised.
After months of planning the FSA had launched its attack with Israel support on February 1. However, the Israeli-backed group didn’t launch any real attack or capture any positions. Instead the FSA groups released few videos of their fighters gathered in a single position and randomly firing shells and mortars.
Previously, Syrian pro-government activists warned that the FSA in southern Syria is not willing to fight ISIS for real and that the attack is a FSA scheme to get money, weapons and supplies from Israel. These activists believe that Israel like the US-led coalition, that supported a similar attack in late 2017, had fallen to the FSA scheme.
Photos of Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Walid counter attack on February 9: