On April 23, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) destroyed an artillery piece of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in southern Syria in response to what the IDF described as a mortar shelling of the Israeli-held area.
In response, the IDF targeted 1 artillery piece in the area from which the fire originated, in the northern Syrian Golan Heights
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 23 April 2018
According to Syrian sources, the IDF used a guided missile to destroy the artillery position near the town of al-Kawm. The Israeli attack in southern Syria came amid the continued clashes in the militant-held pockets across the country.
In the Rastan pocket in northern Homs, the SAA repelled an attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) on its positions at the villages of Salim and Maqsam Hamrat.
In the northwestern countryside of the city of Aleppo, the SAA and its allies have repeleld militant attacks on their positions near the areas of Zahraa and Military Research Center.
In southern Damascus, government troops have further advanced on ISIS positions in the Yarmouk refugee camp area and liberated the districts of Al-Barradi and Al-Barradat as well as the Da’boul street. This advance became possible thanks to intense artillery and air strikes that had destroyed most of the ISIS defenses there.
Summing up the recent events, it becomes clear that militant groups have lost most of its offensive capabilities over the past two years and are now in defense. They are trying to consolidate their areas in southern and western Syria. In turn, the SAA backed up by Russia and Iran is working to clear the remaining militant-held pockets within the government-held area: the Rastan pocket and the Yarmouk reugee camp area.
Should it be done, the SAA will start preparations for clearing the Syrian-Jordanian border from militant groups operating there. This move will face a strong resistance from Israel that sees terrorists in southern Syria as a useful tool of projecting own influence into the war-torn country.