DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:30 P.M.) – Rebel forces reported new gains in Daraa on Thursday as clashes continued to embroil the Al-Manshiyah district in the southern sector of the city.
At least 11 soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were killed today as Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) contingents overran the Salkhidi fortification, bringing roughly 80% of the Al-Manshiyah suburb under rebel control.
In comparison, the SAA controlled around 75% of Al-Manshiyah three weeks ago. This neighborhood has witnessed daily jihadist attacks, often utilizing suicide bombers, since the FSA and HTS launched a joint offensive dubbed ‘death over humiliation’ in February.
Nevertheless, elements of the SAA’s 15th Mechanized Brigade alongside the Republican Guards still maintain a foothold in the northern Al-Manshiyah sector.
Meanwhile, credible reports suggest at least a thousand SAA and Hezbollah reinforcements will arrive in Daraa shortly from Zabadani and Madaya, two rebel-held towns in rural Damascus that were restored under government control earlier this week.
Statements by joint HTS and FSA operations center regarding today’s advance:
Meanwhile, Russian airstrikes and Syrian shelling continued to target insurgent positions, hitting the suburbs of Deraa Al-Bilad, AL-Manshiyah and Tareeq Al-Sad on Thursday: