Early on July 29, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a military operation to enter and secure Daraa al-Balad, the southern part of Daraa city.
The operation, which is being led by the elite 4th Division, is meant to subdue former rebels in Daraa al-Balad, who sabotage a recent agreement with Syrian authorities. The agreement was reached last week following lengthy talks sponsored by Russia.
In the very first hours of the attacks, SAA troops managed to secure the outskirts of Daraa al-Balad. The decision to storm the area is yet to be taken. Currently, the army is shelling posts occupied by local gunmen.
The operation led to a backlash by former rebels in different parts of Daraa. Gunmen captured several checkpoints and posts from the army in the towns of Tafas, Saida, Kiheel, Om al-Miathin, Elnaymah, al-Hrak, Mlaiha al-Garbiah, Mlaiha al-Sharqiah, al-Taebah, Jasim, Inkhil and Dael. The gunmen also blocked the strategic Damascus-Daraa highway.
According to the Horan Free League, a total of 70 Syrian service members were captured during the attacks. The gunmen also seized a T-55 battle tank, a truck-mounted 12,7 mm heavy machine gun and some ammunition.
The army responded to the attacks with artillery fire. As a result, several gunmen were killed, including Mouaz al-Zoubi, a former rebel commander who was wanted by the government for a number of crimes.
The situation in Daraa may escalate further in the upcoming few hours. Many in the governorate are calling for a “new rebellion” against government forces.
The SAA will not likely end its operations before subduing former rebels and implementing tight security measures in Daraa al-Balad.
- Goods And Passengers Transfer Between Syria And Jordan Facilitated
- US Sanctions HTS Financers, Turkish-Backed Group In Syria