Over the last month and a half, the Syrian Arab Army’s 15th Brigade of the 5th Armored Division and the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” have contented for the strategic city of Sheikh Miskeen in the Dara’a Governorate’s northern countryside, while the pro-government forces position themselves to reclaim the western part of the province.
On Wednesday morning, violent clashes broke-out between the warring factions in the city’s southern district, resulting in heavy casualties for all the parties involved in the battle.
The Syrian Arab Army’s 15th Brigade – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the 7th Mechanized Division – struck first inside of Sheikh Miskeen, pushing south towards the small portion of the southern district that the Islamist rebels of the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) still control in the city.
Despite the pressure from the Syrian Armed Forces, the Islamist rebels were able to maintain their ground against the encroaching enemy units and managed to repel the assault after several hours of fighting.
With the Syrian Armed Forces increasing the pressure on the Islamist rebels entrenched inside Sheikh Miskeen; this fight in northern Dara’a has become one of the most important battles in Syria.
For the Islamist rebels, losing Sheikh Miskeen could be devastating; especially, since their large gains inside of the Dara’a Governorate came after they seized the city and nearby Nawa.
Should the Syrian Armed Forces seize Sheikh Miskeen from the Islamist rebels, they will be in position to launch an important counter-offensive in western Dara’a to recapture the Al-Quneitra border.