Government forces and allied foreign militias in the Al-Manshiyah district of the Daraa countryside have confronted heavy resistance from opposition forces, which has forced them to retreat and lose most of the area, amid reports of the regime’s intention to send new reinforcements to prevent from losing it.
There have been many reports of ongoing disputes inside the district between the regime forces and allied foreign militias, particularly the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which forced Russia to officially acknowledge the tensions.
The Central Channel for the Hemeimeem Military Base page, which is largely concerned with highlighting Russian military operations in Syria, warned about the sudden collapse of the district, amid acknowledgements that there were difficulties faced by regime forces, most importantly the loss of coordination with Hezbollah.
Russia reported on a recent post that stated that the regime was preparing special infantry units to head toward the country’s south to provide quick support of the Fifteenth Airborne Division and the Fifth Division, along with the Ninth Mobile Division, in the Daraa area, with the aim of repulsing the advances of opposition forces, which have taken control of about 95 percent of Al-Manshiyah.
This is not the first time that the webpage has thrown light on divisions between the regime and Hezbollah, especially in Daraa, where it previously reported on an incident in which Hezbollah forces killed a regime soldier and the eruption of a dispute as a result of a clash between government forces and the Lebanese militia.
The page quoted a regime fighter in Daraa who spoke about a verbal argument between the head of the military security branch in Suweida, Wafiq Nasser, and the head of the Fifteenth Division of the regime forces, Ali Asaad, adding that the reason for the dispute was that division fighters were left for two days without food, in addition to Hezbollah killing Col. Ali Hafez Salem after he withdrew with his group from one of the military checkpoints.
It also reported in another post: “The Syrian military forces and Syrian government are still the decision-makers in dealing with any situation on the field on the fronts, and negligent soldiers are subject to being held account by them exclusively, and no one from the allied forces on the ground can take these decisions.”
Regime fighters are usually subjected to different treatment compared with the foreign militants backed by Iran, whether in terms of food, clothing or their monthly salary.
A source accompanying one of the pro-regime Iraqi TV stations who covers events in Daraa city told Alsouria Net that, “The discrimination is clear between the regime fighters and the foreign militias, as the food allowed for these militias is prepared in special restaurants and wrapped up to be given hot to the fighters, and usually includes different types of meat and fruit, something you cannot see for the regime fighters, whose food is mostly potatoes and eggs.”
The same source, who declined to have his name published, said that “the authority of a Hezbollah fighter is sometimes higher than that of a regime colonel, in terms of the powers he is given. In addition, the regime fighters are thrown directly onto the front lines with opposition forces, and given a small quantity of food and water for days.”
Syrian opposition forces have entered into battle with the last bases of the regime forces in the strategic Al-Manshiyah district at a time in which the Assad regime is continuing to breach the “de-escalation zones” agreement reached by Russia, Turkey and Iran last month.
Opposition forces in the Al-Bunyan al-Marsous Operations Room on Thursday were able to reach the outskirts of the Sajna neighbourhood, the last that remains to the regime, which does not comprise more than 5 percent of Al-Manshiyah. The regime losing this in entirety would put opposition forces in firing range of all regime security branches in Daraa, given that Al-Manshiyah and Sajna are elevated areas.
Groups in the Al-Bunyan al-Marsous Operations Room, including some Free Syrian Army factions, are participating in the battle “Death Rather Than Humiliation” to retake the district.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.