On August 6, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) responded to an attack by wanted militants from the town of Tafas in the western countryside of Daraa.
The militants attacked a unit of the SAA that was fortifying a checkpoint near Tafas, damaging a bulldozer. In response, the army targeted the militants and their positions in the outskirts of the town with battle tanks and heavy machine guns.
Late in June, the SAA deployed a large force near Tafas where a number of wanted militants have been taking shelter. The army’s pressure led to an agreement with the local negotiation committee in the town. Under the agreement, all militants agreed to be expelled from Daraa, possibly to opposition-held areas in northern Syria.
The agreement is yet to be implemented. The attack on the SAA indicates that at least some of the militants in Tafas may not be planning to honor their commitment.
The security situation in Daraa has been deteriorating for a few months now. On August 4, The local representative of the Baath Party in the town of al-Harak was assassinated. On the same day, ISIS said its cells shot and killed a spy of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate in the town of al-Musayfrah. Later on August 5, an officer and soldier of the SAA were wounded when a military supply truck came under attack near the town of al-Bakkar.
As of now, the Damascus government is still relying on diplomacy to resolve security issues in Daraa. However, this could change very soon. The SAA is already increasing its troops in the governorate.