BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) carried out a powerful attack against the Islamist rebel factions in the eastern countryside of the Dara’a Governorate today.

Units from the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th and 5th divisions repeatedly struck the Islamist rebel defenses inside the towns of Busra Al-Sham, Ghara Sharqiyah, and Ghara Gharbiyah, a military source told Al-Masdar News.

The source added that the Syrian Army’s attack was primarily concentrated on the rebel fortifications inside these three towns.

This attack by the Syrian Arab Army comes just hours after several large military convoys entered the Dara’a Governorate in order to reinforce the troops that are preparing to launch the long-awaited government offensive.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s first major operation in the Dara’a Governorate will concentrate on the eastern countryside of the province.

In particular, the Syrian military offensive will focus on the Nassib Crossing and the towns surrounding this imperative border region.

The Syrian Arab Army lost the Nassib Crossing to the Islamist rebels in early 2015.

The loss of the Nassib Crossing led to the Syrian Army’s complete collapse in the southeastern countryside of Dara’a, as they would later lose the historical city of Busra Al-Sham.

Once southeast Dara’a was lost, the Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front Brigades and Jabhat Al-Nusra attempted to push into the Al-Sweida Governorate; however, this offensive would ultimately fail after several thousand people in this province took arms to protect their homes from the insurgency.

Since the failed rebel offensive in Al-Sweida, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) have retaken almost the entire province.

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Meanwhile, in southeast Dara’a, this front has been mostly dead until recently, as the de-escalation zone had mostly halted the fighting for a year.

The Syrian Army is now poised to retake southeast Dara’a and the Nassib Crossing, despite the objections from the U.S. State Department.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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