DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:35 P.M.) – After a month-long stalemate, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions have scored a series of gains in April and decisively won the upper hand in the ongoing battle for the provincial capital of Daraa.
Momentarily, jihadist factions have captured approximately 90% of the embattled Al-Manshiyah neighborhood as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) finally buckled under a continues wave of suicide bombings on the exposed suburb.
In the past 24 hours alone, rebel forces have seized dozens of buildings blocks in the Al-Manshiyah district, including the famous Oqbah Bin Nafe mosque.
With HTS and the FSA reaching the outskirts of the government-held Sajnah neighborhood, the SAA must set up a new sustainable defensive line if Syrian troops are to avoid being pushed back to the northern bank of the Daraa river, a line of retreat which would split the city in half between Islamist insurgents and largely secular government forces.
Nevertheless, the SAA is still able to call on the Russian Air Force in a bid to repel hostile jihadists. A picture released by HTS’ media department on Saturday shows the devastation caused by an air raid on a rebel-held area of Daraa city:
Meanwhile, an ISIS affiliated faction still controls of a pocket of formerly rebel-held territory in the western countryside of Daraa, representing a force to be reckoned with.