Syrian opposition forces entered into fighting in the last regime strongholds in the strategic Manshiyah district, Daraa city, at a time when Syrian government forces continue to violate the “de-escalation” zones agreement which was reached by Russia, Turkey and Iran last month.
Military sources close to the Al-Banyan al-Marsous Operations Room told Alsouria Net on Thursday that opposition forces were clashing with the regime and allied militias in the Sajna district, the last areas that remains under the control of the regime in Manshiyah, pointing to a retreat in the ranks of Assad’s forces.
The sources indicated that the regime had lost control of all but 5 percent of the Manshiyeh neighborhood. If the regime loses the district completely, opposition forces will move within range of all regime security branches in Daraa, given that Manshiyah and Sajna are elevated areas.
The regime’s loss of the district would lead to a slowing of the continuous pace of bombardment on Daraa districts under opposition control. Opposition control of the district would also help rebel groups avoid the scenario of a regime siege and the repetition of what occurred in Aleppo, where rebels were surrounded and bombarded before being forced to withdraw.
After advancing in the nearby Al-Mahjoura, regime forces narrowly missed a chance last year to control the area and cut it off from the eastern countryside. If they had succeeded, opposition forces would have been separated from one another, providing the regime with a chance to isolate them.
According to information obtained by Alsouria Net, opposition forces are taking advantage of the regime’s breach of the de-escalation zones agreement by mounting counterattacks on regime forces bases.
Groups belonging to the Al-Banyan al-Marsous Operations Room, some of them within the Free Syrian Army, are participating in the battle under the name “Death Rather Than Humiliation.”
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.