On August 26, a soldier of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was killed and eight others were wounded when their vehicle came under attack in the northern countryside of Daraa.
The vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was passing on a road between the towns of Nawa and al-Sheikh Maskin. The soldiers were not on a combat mission. They were reportedly on their way to distribute food rations to SAA posts in the area.
The attack was most likely carried out by former rebels in support of their comrades in the southern part of Daraa city, known as Daraa al-Balad, who have been besieged by the SAA for nearly two months now.
In response to the attack, the SAA shelled the town of Tafas in the western Daraa countryside with rockets. Casualties were reported by local sources.
This was not the first such attack this month. On August 5, a vehicle of the SAA was ambushed by gunmen in the eastern countryside of Daraa. Back then, two service members were killed on the spot, while three others died a day later of their wounds. On August 19, an officer and four soldiers of the army’s 112th Brigade were killed when their vehicle was hit by an IED in western countryside of Daraa.
Syrian government officials in Daraa are also being targeted. Early on August 26, judge Faisal Khalil al-Hallawat was fatally wounded in a shooting attack in Nawa.
The situation in Daraa will likely escalate further in the upcoming few days. Local leaders in Daraa al-Balad are yet to accept the Russian roadmap and resolve the conflict with Syrian authorities. Former rebels in the area are still refusing to leave.
The SAA may soon kick off a military operation in Daraa al-Balad to implement the authorities’ demands by force. This could provoke former rebels in other parts of the southern governorate.