A number of hardline fighting groups, mostly made up of Jabhet Al-Nusra (al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch), has seized on Al-Koum checkpoint and Sakakah village to the east of Brigade 52.

The Brigade 52 of the 5th Armored Division, one of the largest military bases in the region, has fallen to western-backed rebels yesterday Tuesday after defending forces retreated to a nearby base.

The militants’ bid to expand east is crystal clear and will most probably attempt to capture Al-Tha’ala military airbase located in the western outskirts of Sweida, currently under mortar and rocket shelling since yesterday.

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