After capturing a handful of towns in the western Daraa countryside two days ago, Islamic State militants initiated a new round of attacks that saw opposition forces concede several sites on Wednesday afternoon.
Effectively, Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed (ISIS affiliate) was able to capture Tall Ashtara, Adwan Reservoir and the 508th Regiment military base after fierce clashes with Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham and Southern Front rebels, thus moving ever closer to the provincial capital.
According to one source, 104 rebels were killed by ISIS’ fighters in western Daraa over the past 72 hours.
Amaq Agency also posted footage showing life inside recently captured Saham al-Joulan, a town rebels falsely claimed to have retaken yesterday:
— Chris Tomson (@TheDaneChris) February 22, 2017
Due to today’s advances, militants loyal to Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed are less than 7 kilometers from reaching government-held positions at Sheikh Meskin.
Jaysh Khalid ibn al-Waleed controls a pocket of territory that border Israel and Jordan. The jihadist group was formed through a merger of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, the Islamic Muthanna Movement, and the Army of Jihad.
These factions were formerly part of the Syrian opposition but defected as the Islamic State peaked territorially in 2014.