One month ago, political analysts and Syrian Conflict observers began predicting the complete collapse of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) infrastructure, as Al-Qaeda linked groups (Jaysh Al-Fateh) shockingly captured the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate and its surrounding villages, creating a circumvallation around the two predominately Shi’i towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya.
Following Jaysh Al-Fateh’s success in the Idlib Governorate and the Southern Front’s capture of Brigade 52 Base; the fall of Dara’a City seemed almost inevitable and unavoidable for the Syrian Arab Army’s exhausted 5th Armored Division.
When the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front” Brigades and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” began this full-scale offensive in the Dara’a Governorate; it became immediately evident that the rebel forces had miscalculated the Syrian Arab Army’s fighting prowess and commitment to defending the provincial capital and the 5th Armored Division’s headquarters at the strategic city of Izra’a.
Initially, Jabhat Al-Nusra and the FSA’s Southern Front achieved some minor victories at the town of ‘Itman (north of Dara’a City) and inside the Industrial District of the provincial capital; however, many of these victories were later reversed by the Syrian Armed Forces, who proved unwilling to concede any territory to the enemy combatants without a violent firefight first.
On Saturday morning, the rebel forces attacked the Syrian Arab Army at the Al-Sirrou Checkpoint, capturing this barrier after a brief firefight; however, once again, the rebel forces were unable to maintain control of this parcel of territory, as the Syrian Arab Army recaptured the Al-Sirrou Checkpoint some thirty minutes later.
In addition to their failure at the Al-Sirrou Checkpoint, the rebel forces failed to infiltrate into the integral town of Khirbat Al-Ghazalah for the fourth time in four days, leaving the Syrian Arab Army in full control after fierce clashes on Saturday morning.
According to a military source in the Dara’a Governorate, the rebel forces have suffered 110 confirmed casualties, while estimates for the total number of dead and wounded rebels is reportedly 400 (unconfirmed).