After a week of frontline deadlock in Daraa, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a counter-offensive in the southern sector of Daraa city.

Targeting the Deraa Al-Bilad neighborhood, Syrian government soldiers were able to recapture a handful of buildings that were lost in February to Islamist rebels of Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Southern Front.

According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, an estimated dozen HTS combattants were neutralized on Sunday by airstrikes on the Al-Masri roundabout, Al-Kark neighborhood, and Al-Arba’een district.

In addition, two machine gun manned vehicles were destroyed while heading to the rebel-held areas which came under SAA attack in the Deraa Al-Balad neighborhood today.

With the rebel offensive, dubbed ‘Death rather than humiliation’, grinding to a halt, insurgents in the provincial capital of Daraa have now returned to a defensive setup.

Although the SAA is yet to decisively break through the jihadist defensive line at the Al-Manishiyah and Daraa Al-Bilad districts, Syrian and Russian jets are playing a vital role in constantly dislodging militant mobilization in the city.

Leading the SAA’s counter-offensive is the 5th Division of the Republican Guard, National Defence Forces (NDF), 15th Division special forces and a contingent of Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary) units.

Recently, rebel forces sent hundreds of reinforcements from Daraa city to rural areas west of the provincial capital to fend off an ongoing ISIS offensive.

Subsequently, the power balance in Daraa city has shifted in favor of government troops that outnumber rebel forces due to the latter diverting a large chunk of its manpower.

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Picture of an airstrike on Daraa city on Sunday afternoon:

Chris Tomson | AMN

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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