DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:45 P.M.) – In a forgotten corner of Syria, an ISIS franchise group remains deadlocked in bitter tit-for-tat skirmishes with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions just southeast of the Golan Heights.
A string of new photos released by Jaish Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, a hardline jihadist group that has sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, depicts ISIS-inspired militants clashing with rival opposition forces on the outskirts of Adwan town, located in the southwestern countryside of Daraa, on Monday:
Despite an Islamic State enclave being anchored off the border with Israel and Jordan, Jaish Khalid Ibn Al-Walid has stubbornly held on to territory it captured during a large-scale offensive in February 2017. Since then, the ISIS franchise branch has dug in and constructed a strong defensive line, thereby fending off all rebel counter-offensives.
However, with a UN-brokered de-escalation agreement introduced in the provincial capital of Daraa, the FSA and HTS have transferred hundreds of battle-hardened fighters towards ISIS-held rural areas, ultimately looking to retake some 20 villages and towns that remain under the control of Jaish Khalid Ibn Al-Walid.
An interactive battle map of the aforementioned region can be found here.