Sources in the Syrian opposition reported on Saturday that preparations are underway by factions in Syria’s south for a major military action which the opposition intends to carry out to lighten the pressure on the besieged Eastern Ghouta.
Sources told Alsouria Net that “the military operation will focus on the areas where the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and Iranian militias are located,” in a reference to the two most prominent participants alongside regime forces in the ongoing assault on the Eastern Ghouta.
The sources, who asked not to be named, said “what is happening in the eastern Damascus Ghouta is the collective extermination of civilians, which is pushing the rebel groups of Syria’s south to prepare for a battle which could reduce the regime’s pressure there to a large extent.”
The United States, through a message conveyed by activists which they said had been sent to rebel commanders in the south from the American Embassy in Amman, called on rebel groups to exercise self-control and to adhere to the “de-escalation” agreement, and stressed its attempts to “pressure Russia” to stop the regime’s military campaign against the Ghouta.
The Anadolu news agency said yesterday that the military campaign was expected to target Iran’s militias in Quneitra and northern Daraa, with the possibility of extending to the Badiya areas.
Opposition members believe that the collapse of the de-escalation agreement in southern Syria is closer to occurring than at any previous time. Russia, which is one of the guarantor parties, threatened during a meeting between the head of its reconciliation center in Daraa and regime officers that “Daraa will face the fate of Ghouta and Idleb and Aleppo,” which sparked the ire of rebel groups, which considered this statement to serve as a declaration of war and to totally derail the agreement.
More than seven months have passed since the de-escalation agreement, which was signed in the Jordanian capital Amman between the United States, Russia and Jordan, and which put in place an end to hostile actions between regime forces and rebel groups in southern Syria.
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.