For the third day in a row, the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” – led by Jaysh Al-Yarmouk and the 1st Brigade – targeted the strategic Tha’lah Military Airport in the Al-Sweida Governorate after taking a brief hiatus in the months of July and August to concentrate on the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate.
On Friday morning, the FSA’s Southern Front Brigades attacked the civilian-led “National Defense Forces” (NDF) at the hilltop of Tal Sheikh Hussein (west of Tha’lah village), where they engaged in a long and bloody firefight for control of this hill on the border of Dara’a and Al-Sweida.
Following the assault on Tal Sheikh Hussein, the FSA’s Southern Front Brigades were able to evade the National Defense Forces’ frontlines and carryout an assault on the Tha’lah Military Airport’s western perimeter; however, once again, the 1st Brigade and Jaysh Al-Yarmouk were unable to bypass the fierce resistance from the soldiers protecting this located 15km from Sweida City.
As a result of the failed infiltration into the Tha’lah Military Airport, the FSA’s Southern Front Brigades withdrew to the other side of the Dara’a-Sweida border; this withdrawal was accelerated due to the relentless airstrikes from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF).
Unfortunately for the FSA’s Southern Front Brigades, the village of Tha’lah is a National Defense Forces stronghold, as the overwhelming majority of the NDF fighters are residents of Tha’lah; if they plan on taking this area, they will have to risk a lot more men.