A large number of militants of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) still remains in southern Syria as well as in the western Syrian province of Idlib, Russian Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said on June 19.
“De-escalation zones were established especially for improving the situation, putting an end to bloodshed and ensuring the ceasefire,” Lavrentyev said following a meeting of representatives of the guarantor countries of the Syrian de-escalation agreement. [Iran, Turkey, Russia]
“The situation in southern Syria was rather calm until recently, though some provocations took place. However, a large number of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists remain in the southern de-escalation zone. Very few ISIS members remain in northern Syria, while their number is rather large in the country’s south.”
Lavrentyev’s remarks could be linked with the current complicated situation in southern Syria where the Syrian Army launched a limited attack on positions of militant groups northeast of the city of Daraa.
While militant groups in southern Syria and their backers claim that they are a “moderate opposition”. Despite this, a high number of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham units also operate within this area controlled by the so-called moderate opposition.
At the same time a local branch of ISIS controls a large area near the Golan Heights. “Moderate opposition” groups and their backers are not hurrying up to deal with this problem.
According to pro-government experts, the Syrian Army’s military operation in the area is one of the few real option to solve security problems in the area and to re-establish law and order there.