The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is still amassing troops and preparing to launch a large security operation in the southern governorate of Daraa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on May 14.
According to the London-based monitoring group, fresh reinforcements deployed in the following areas:
- The town of Ibtta in the northern Daraa countryside;
- The town of Khirbet Ghazaleh in the northern Daraa countryside;
- The Panorama area in the northern part of Daraa’s city center, known as Daraa al-Mahatah.
Pro-government activists released videos showing a large number of troops and equipment of the SAA’s 4th Division heading to Daraa. The reinforcements included several T-72 Adra battle tanks, which were up-armored especially for urban warfare.
The available information indicates that the town of Tafas, which recently became a hub for radicals in northern Daraa, will be the main target of the upcoming operation. Another target will be the town of Muzayrib, where nine policemen were brutally murdered a few weeks ago.
The reports of a nearing security operation in Daraa led to a state of panic among the few remaining radicals in Daraa and their supporters. Protests were held in the town of Tafas and in the southern part of Daraa’s city center, Daraa al-Balad, late on May 13.
“Long live Syria, Down with Assad,” the protesters chanted.
In March, the SAA launched a security operation in the town of al-Sanamayn. The operation targeted radical militants only. Many were killed or captured. The rest were forced to depart to Greater Idlib.
The new wave of protests in Daraa will not likely affect the SAA’s plans. The army will likely kick off its operation within a few days.