DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:45 A.M.) – A renewed rebel offensive in the western Daraa countryside did not go to plan on Monday as an entrenched ISIS franchise group inflicted heavy casualties upon the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
After having two months to set up a defensive line due to capturing the area in February, the ISIS-linked Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid repelled a rebel attack on the towns of Adwan, Jaleen and Tasil with big consequences to follow for FSA fighters involved in the offensive.
With darkness settling over Daraa province, 17 FSA fighters were scattered dead across the battlefield while some 15 militants sustained serious injuries. In addition, Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid damaged one tank and destroyed three bulldozers on the outskirts of Jaleen.
Pictures from ISIS’ side of events, showing the battle in mention:
Meanwhile, videos published by Southern Front FSA groups revealed that rebel forces had deployed tanks and other weaponry for the unsuccessful offensive:
The bulk of the rebel attack was focused around Tall Ashtara, an important hilltop protecting Adwan and Tasil. Nevertheless, the high point was still in ISIS hands by the end of the day:
Exploiting a newly brokered safe zone covering Daraa province, FSA and allied forces are reportedly in the process of transferring their militants from the provincial capital to the countryside in a bid to defeat the ISIS affiliate once and for all.