The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) have started rebuilding fortifications in the government-held Al-Minshiah neighborhood of Daraa city.
Earlier this month, Haya’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) – formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda – seized about 80% of the strategic neighborhood as result of a series of successful attacks. In the last attack HTS captured 15 buildings north of Al-Minshiah.
In the recent days, the SAA repelled a number of HTS-led attacks. On the Garigha-Saidah road the SAA targeted a vehicle carrying 11 HTS fighters with an IED killing them all.
The second IED placed by the SAA hit another vehicle for HTS on the Ankhil-Ethryia road in the Daraa countryside.
The SAA also targeted HTS fighters gatherings with heavy rockets in Al-Karak and Al-Bijaja neighborhoods and in the Al-Masri cross point and in the east part of Al-Minshiah.
Hezbollah’s media wing also released a video of clashes in Al-Minshiah.
According to a pro-government source, the SAA had not been able to deploy reinforcements to Daraa city. Government forces are using the manpower already stationed there.
Meanwhile, HTS is reportedly massing dozens of armored vehicles and hundreds of fighters in Daraa Al-Balad. It’s believed that HTS will launch soon the second phase of its attack to capture the whole Al-Minshiah neighborhood.
If HTS successfully capture Al-Minshiah, the goroup will likely launch another attack to develop the momentum in Daraa city. It should be noted that HTS is redeployed troops from its front with ISIS-linked Jaish-Khalied as the battle there was paused because of unknown reasons.