Some 36 hours have passed since the militants from the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” launched their large-scale offensive at the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate and the strategic town of Khirbat Al-Ghazaleh; however, thus far, this offensive in southern Syria has provided mixed results for the rebel forces involved.
Friday morning started off on the right foot for the militants of the FSA’s Southern Front and Jabhat Al-Nusra, as the aforementioned groups captured the strategic town of ‘Itman (located directly north of the provincial capital) after a series of intense clashes with the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF).
While they were able to find success at ‘Itman, the battle for Dara’a City was a different story: the militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Southern Front attempted to breach the Syrian Armed Forces’ frontline positions at the Al-Manshiyah District, only to suffer heavy losses and little-to-no gains due to the latter’s stiff defenses that provided an obstacle for the swarming rebel forces.
In addition to their frontline success at the Al-Manshiyah District, the Syrian Armed Forces were also able to recapture the Al-Baytar Farms (northwest Dara’a) after a brief counter-offensive to push out the present rebel forces that were entrenched at this farmland.
In the northeastern countryside of the Dara’a Governorate, the militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jaysh Al-Yarmouk attempted to infiltrate back into the imperative town of Khirbat Al-Ghazaleh, following their abrupt exit at the southeastern sector; this assault would fail again, as the Syrian Armed Forces remained unmoved by the intensity and size of the attack.