Regime forces and allied militias positioned in the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra came under heavy artillery and mortar fire on Wednesday from armed opposition groups in southern region.
According to Alsouria Net’s correspondent in the area, the bombardment hit the positions of Brigade 313 under the authority of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the city of Izra, east of Daraa, in addition to Brigade 12 and Regiment 175 under the authority of regime forces in the city’s environs.
The Free Syrian Army artillery strikes also hit the security square and regime military barracks in the city of Daraa (Al-Mahatta). The Faloujat Houran brigade issued a statement claiming to have struck a number of security branches and positions where regime forces were deployed in response to President Bashar al-Assad’s massacres against civilians in Damascus' Eastern Ghouta.
Meanwhile, the Jaish al-Thuwra (Army of Revolutionaries) published images on social media which it said depicted artillery bombs being launched at regime positions in the Daraa countryside, with “aid to the people of Ghouta” written on the sides of the shells.
North of Daraa, a number of mortars fell in the headquarters of the 9th Armored Vehicles Division near the city of Al-Sanamayn, with a number of ambulances seen heading to the division moments later.
The city of Al-Baath, in the center of Quneitra province and a gathering point for the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, was also a target of opposition artillery bombing. Activists reported that dozens of shells fell on the bases where these militias were present, killing regime Lt. Yazin al-Saleh.
Regime forces responded by bombing a number of cities and towns in the Daraa countryside with rockets and heavy artillery shells, hitting the city of Dael and killing and wounding a number of civilians. Another rocket bombing hit the towns of Naemeh and Al-Soura and the city of Al-Harra east of Daraa.
North of Daraa, Assad’s forces struck the city of Enkhal with a number of heavy artillery shells, wounding a number of civilians.
This escalation comes in light of the war of extermination carried out by the Assad regime, backed by Iran and Russia, against more than 400,000 people under siege in the Eastern Ghouta. Over the last few days it has intensified its bombardment of the towns and cities of the Ghouta with all types of armaments, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians.
A rebel source told Alsouria Net that “the FSA factions will continue to strike regime and Iranian militia positions in Daraa and Quneitra, and we will continue to escalate the pace of the bombardment until the Assad regime halts its barbaric campaign on our people in the Eastern Ghouta.”
The source added: “We have announced the full readiness of all our combat units in preparation for any emergency, and we will not simply watch the extermination that is occurring.”
The military source called on international bodies who are guarantors the de-escalation zones agreements to pressure the Assad regime, Russia and Iran to stop the massacre in the Ghouta. He added: “If there is no serious international mobilization, we will then move and not be concerned by any international agreements that are in place.”
“The mobilization today must be political and military in order to save civilians in the Ghouta, and the High Negotiations Committee should announce its suspension of participation in any negotiating process until the bloodshed in the Ghouta has stopped,” he concluded.
The recent military mobilization of opposition factions in southern Syria warns of the imminent collapse of the de-escalation zone agreements which were signed in Amman at the start of July last year between the United States, Russia and Jordan. Moscow is set on avoiding a scenario taking place in the areas it is monitoring as it would be expected to act in accordance with the agreement.
The official Facebook page for the Russian airbase at Hmeimeem said that it did not expect military mobilization by what it called “rebel groups” south of the country as a result of the land attack which the regime is carrying out on the Eastern Ghouta.
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.