On January 10, the ISIS-affiliated militant group, Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed, launched an attack on positions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the villages of Bakkar and Jubailiah in the western Daraa countryside, according to Syrian oppositions sources.
During the attack, five fighters of the FSA were reportedly killed and many others were captured by Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed. The ISIS-affiliated group was also able to capture most of Juabilah village before its attack was repelled by the FSA.
The Syrian opposition news outlet Enab Baladi confirmed that Israel had directly supported the FSA against Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed during the clashes. According to the media outlet, Israeli unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) targeted Jaysh Khalid fighters and forced them to withdraw.
Israel has strengthened its relationship with FSA groups in the western Daraa countryside over the last few months. According to a report released on December 2, 2017, Israel and the FSA are even planning a joint attack against Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed that occupies several positions right near the Israeli-held area.
The first evidence of Israel’s support to the FSA was observed on September 8, 2017 when the Syrian opposition news outlet SMART published a video of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) group shelling position of the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army with 107mm rockets supplied by Israel.
Syrian oppositions activists believe that the supposed joint attack of Israel and the FSA against Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed in the western Daraa countryside will be launched by the end of January.