Free Syrian Army groups operating in the Syrian Desert have announced that they shot down an Assad regime jet over the Um Ramim area northwest of Mahratha and damaged a helicopter near Alseen air base in rural Damascus.
Osoud Sharqiya and the Ahmad Abdo Brigades previously announced the launch of a counteroffensive dubbed “The Land is Ours” to repel regime attacks on FSA positions in the Syrian Desert.
On Tuesday, the FSA groups said they recaptured the Umm Ramim area from the regime, and destroyed two tanks and a bulldozer belonging to pro-government forces. At least 35 pro-regime militiamen were killed in the FSA counteroffensive, the groups said.
In a press release issued on Monday, the National Coalition said that the areas currently being targeted by the Assad regime and Russian air force in the Syrian Desert were completely under the control of the FSA, which liberated them from the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist organization following offensives launched in early 2017 across eastern rural Suweida and the Syrian Desert, including the Tal Makhoul hill and the “Scientific Research Platoon.”
The Coalition condemned attacks or attempts to advance in those areas under the pretext of fighting ISIS, as it warned brokers of the agreement of the dire consequences of using the pact to justify attacks on the FSA.
The Coalition stressed the need to force the Assad regime to stop its attacks and withdraw its forces immediately from the areas they have advanced into since the agreement went into force on Sunday, July 9.
Assad regime forces, backed by Russia’s aerial cover, are trying to advance in the southern Syrian Desert, claiming the area is not covered by the cease-fire agreement brokered by the United States and Russia.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.