For the first time since the rebel’s inception in the Al-Quneitra Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is on the offensive in this mountainous province in western Syria. Over the last 6 months, militant groups like the Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra) and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF) took advantage of the 9th Infantry Division’s poor defenses in the province, capturing the imperative Tal Al-Harra area and the checkpoint at the UNDOF ceasefire zone in the Golan Heights.

Attempting to alleviate the pressure from their besieged troops in Al-Quneitra, the SAA’s Central Command launched an offensive at Sheikh Miskeen in the Dara’a Governorate. The first 48 hours of the offensive went well; however, reinforcements from Al-Nusra Front poured into the village and helped counter the attack and even capture the integral city of Nawa nearby.

The SAA’s 5th, 7th, and 9th Divisions were under siege all over Dara’a, with virtually no offensive to counter the swarming rebels. Finally, the SAA encountered a break-through when the rebels attempted to open a new front in eastern Dara’a, resulting in their militants being spread too thin. As a result, the SAA launched multiple attacks in southwest Syria; specifically, at the villages of Masharah, Dayr Makir, and ‘Umm Batna.

Yesterday, the SAA continued their march towards the Golan, capturing the strategic farms near the villages of Sa’sa and Beit Saber. The 9th Division has received necessary reinforcements from Hezbollah (Party of God) and the National Defense Forces (NDF), as they press their way into ‘Umm Batna in order to upend the militants from the Al-Nusra Front besieging the provincial capital of Al-Quneitra.

Despite their advance in the West Ghouta of Rif Dimashq and in western Al-Quneitra; it should be noted that the militants from the Al-Nusra Front are currently attacking the 7th Infantry Division’s positions near the Sweida border. The Al-Nusra Front is attempting to infiltrate into the Syrian Government controlled city of Izra, but they have been unsuccessful thus far.

To counter this attack on Izra, the SAA and NDF captured the vital Zalfa Hill (Tal Zalfa) on the border of the Sweida and the Rif Dimashq Governorate; it is located near the rebel-held city of Al-Lajat. Fierce clashes still continue near Al-Lajat, where the SAA is currently attempting to breach the rebel frontline defenses.

 

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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