On June 21, two officers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were killed in the western countryside of Daraa when their vehicle was targeted with an improvised explosive device (IED).
The attack took place on a road between Ain Thakar and Jamlah. The two towns are located right next to the separation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and a few kilometers to the north of the Jordanian border.
The two officers were identified as Lt. Col. Shady Ghassan Steiti from the town of al-Qardahah in the northern Lattakia countryside and Lt. Muhammad Nazih Muhanna from the town of Talkalakh in the western countryside of Homs. Both officers were serving in the SAA’s 112th Brigade. Lt. Col. Steiti was reportedly responsible for several key checkpoints in the western Daraa countryside.
A day after the deadly attack, the SAA uncovered two IEDs in the town of Muzayrib which is also located in the western countryside of Daraa. Both devices were successfully dismantled by the army’s engineer units.
Dozens of attacks targeted Syrian government forces in Daraa in the last few months. ISIS cells and local radicals are thought to be responsible for most of these attacks. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 88 service members have been killed in the governorate since the beginning of the year.
The security situation in Daraa will not likely improve any time soon. Government control over the region remains weak as a result of the widespread of radical ideology, weapons and criminal activities.