BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, backed up by the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) jihadist group, have foiled a large ISIS offensive in the western countryside of Daraa Governonate. ISIS had launched their assault on the rebel-held town of Hait beginning on midnight and clashes lasted until today afternoon. In a fashion quite untypical of past clashes between ISIS and rebel militias, ISIS has suffered a heavy defeat, losing a considerable number of its attacking forces as well as failing to seize its objective (this representing both a tactical and operational defeat).
For their part, rebels managed to destroy two (2) tanks, one (1) Toyota pickup fitted with a 23 mm ZU-23-2 gun and a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) belonging to ISIS. Furthermore, rebels also captured a BMP-1 from ISIS (in the picture above).
According to local sources, ISIS manpower losses came to a total of at least 20 fighters as a result of the failed attack whilst rebels and HTS suffered around 10 men dead and wounded.
Clashes between ISIS and rebel militias (both Islamist and jihadist) have been a usual occurrence in the province of Daraa as of the last several months, with the warring forces more-or-less locked in a state of stalemate; whilst both sides are generally able to withstand attacks from one another, neither appears capable of rolling back the other’s front.