A rebel fighter of the Southern Front of the Free Syrian Army gestures while standing with his fellow fighter near their weapons at the front line in the north-west countryside of Deraa, March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

On Thursday morning, the Free Syrian Army’s “Southern Front Brigades” – alongside Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam) – launched a new offensive inside the provincial capital of the Dara’a Governorate that they dubbed “Operation Truthful Storm”, marking the second time in two months that the rebel forces have stormed this city.

Unfortunately for the Southern Front Brigades and Jaysh Al-Islam; this large-scale offensive did not go according to plan, as they sustained heavy casualties and little progress at the northern and southern flanks of Dara’a City.

The Southern Front assault began around 8 A.M. (Damascus Time) on Thursday morning, when a heterogeneous contingent made-up of Free Syrian Army brigades attacked the Syrian Arab Army’s frontline defenses inside the Al-Maleeha and Al-Manshiyah Quarters of the provincial capital.

Firefights between the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Armored Division and FSA’s Southern Front Brigades were ongoing for most of the day, as they spread as far as the western sector of the Al-Sina’a Quarter (Industrial Quarter).

According to a military source in Dara’a City, the Syrian Armed Forces also clashed with the Southern Front at the Armored Station, the Consumer Foundation building, and inside the west district of the Al-Sina’a Quarter, where they destroyed a Southern Front tank.

With all their attacks failing to yield any gains, the rebel fighters were forced to retreat from the south district of the Al-Manishiyah Quarter after fierce clashes with the SAA’s 5th Division and the National Defense Forces.

In addition to the lack of progress at Dara’a City, the Southern Front also suffered heavy losses at the Tal Shahaab Field Hospital after the Syrian Arab Air Force pounded the area with multiple airstrikes.

The Southern Front and Jaysh Al-Islam suffered heavy casualties during their clashes with the Syrian Armed Forces; this included six field commanders that were identified as the following:

  1. Zakraya ‘Abdel-Rahman ‘Al-‘Aboud (“Abu Hadi”) of Fallujah Al-Houran
  2. Ahmad Ismael Al-Dagher (“Abi Ra’ed”) of Kata’eb Rajal Al-Haqq
  3. Saddam Al-Jabawi (“Abu ‘Uday”) of Kata’eb Al-Fursaan
  4. Mohammad Al-Ghannam (“Abu Qateiba”) of Kata’eb Shahada Al-Mazayreeb
  5. Jalil Al-Masri (“Abu Mujahid”) of Jaysh Al-Yarmouk
  6. Usama Hussein Al-Haraki of Jaysh Al-Islam

 

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