BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allied paramilitaries operating in the southwestern desert region of Syria are to cut-off and annihilate a massive Free Syrian Army (FSA) salient that juts in the direction of Damascus city.
It has been two days since pro-government forces launched the second phase of Operation Big Dawn – a trans-provincial offensive aimed at expelling US-backed FSA mercenaries from Syria’s southwestern Badia region.
During the initial stage of the offensive, pro-government forces achieved total surprise and operational superiority over FSA militants within a matter of hours, capturing twenty key villages, towns, dams and hilltops.
The SAA and its allies also managed to come within twenty kilometers of encircling FSA forces within a mountainous, semi-desert area encompassing parts of central Rif Dimashq Governonate and northeastern As-Suwayda Governonate.
However, pro-government forces then halted their attack in order to consolidate their gains and perhaps entice the FSA mercenaries within the partly besieged salient to withdraw.
It is believed that the US-backed FSA militants who operate within in the large salient are ridiculously outnumbered in terms of manpower – possibly to a factor of ten-to-one. Furthermore, pro-government forces also possess vastly superior numbers of tanks and artillery.
The most recent reports coming in from the front suggest that pro-government forces are now attacking the Abu Khashbah Dam area, which stands about halfway between the northern and southern pincers of their advance thus far.
This appears to be an indication that pro-government forces are not only resuming offensive operations in the area but also intend to completely isolate the aforementioned FSA-held salient with the eventual goal of liquidating it.
It is highly possible that under the right pressure, FSA mercenaries within the salient will – if they have not already – withdraw from the area.