Tensions are growing in southern Syria as militants are preparing to capture the city of Daraa, the Russian Defense Ministry’s TV channel Zvezda says.
According to Zvezda’s military diplomatic source, alleged “humanitarian aid” convoys cross the Syrian-Jordanian border on a constant basis. This flow of the “humanitarian aid” is controlled by US forces.
In the framework of the monitoring centter in the Jordanian capital of Amman, US and Jordanian representatives are informed about constant attacks on Syrian government forces in Daraa, but they take no measures to de-escalate the situation, Zvezda’s report says. Militants use this situation to expand their influence in the area.
Zvezda’s source said tha joint militant forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) have over 12,000 fighters, hundreds units of military equipment, tens artillery pieces and rocket launchers. These weapons and equipment are obtained through the militant-held areas on Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan.
According to the source, the militants will use the “violation of de-escalation zone agreement” by Syrian government forces as a pretext for their offensive operations and advance on the cities of Daraa and al-Baath.
“The end goal of the planned operation is to seize land and create a US-backed autonomy outside of Damascus’s control with the capital in Daraa, similar to what we see in northeastern Syria where the Syrian Democratic Forces are in control,” Zvezda’s source said.
According to the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik, the militants may also stage “chemical attacks” to justify their actions.