Syrian regime forces, backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militias, made progress in southern Syria, seizing several villages and hills between the countryside of Daraa, Damascus and Quneitra, following fierce battles with opposition fighters, with pro-regime militias committing a massacre in the northwest of the country.
According to ad-Durar ash-Shamiyah Network, the military operations escalated yesterday in "the triangle between Daraa, Quneitra and Damascus countryside (between the capital, the Golan Heights and Jordan) or the so-called triangle of death after Assad's forces launched a violent attack on the areas".
The Network said "Assad forces, backed by Shiite militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, launched a violent attack two days ago on all towns and villages in the northern countryside of Daraa, the countryside of Quneitra and the liberated villages in the western countryside of Damascus. More than 4,800 rockets fell on Kafr Nasej, al-Habbarieh, Sultana, Mashara, Kafr Shams, Sabsaba, Hamrit, in addition to the liberated hills of al-Hara, Gharin, Antar, al-Allaqiyah and Fatima. While the towns of Salamin and Zamaren have been targeted with heavy machine guns, artillery and rockets launched from Tel Gharaba, in addition to air strikes and explosive barrels".
The Network added that fighting continued in "the fronts of Hamrit, Maes, Sultana and Sabsaba, after Assad forces attempted to storm the areas", in addition to "fierce clashes in the vicinity of the towns of al-Habbarieh, Sultana and Tulul Fatima, amid news that Assad forces seized the town of al-Habbarieh and other areas. The fronts of Mashara-Tel al-Bazzaq, Hamrit- Ayouba, Zamrin-Jaddia are witnessing fierce battles between rebels and regime forces".
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the "violent clashes continue between regime forces, Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters on the one hand, and the fighters of a number of opposition factions – including the Nusra Front – on the other hand, in the regions of Hamrit and Sabsaba in the western countryside of Damascus. Regime forces seized control of the town of al-Habbarieh and a number of surrounding hills in the countryside of Daraa. At least seven opposition fighters were killed in the battle". The Observatory explained that the operation was “led by Hezbollah".
According to the official Syrian news agency, SANA, "the army has tightened its grip on Tel Qarin and other strategic towns in the triangle, extending from the northwestern countryside of Daraa, Quneitra and the southwestern countryside of Damascus, after eliminating the last gatherings of terrorists". SANA reported from a military source that Syrian army units "have seized the towns of al-Habbarieh, Sultana, Hamrit and Tel Qarin". A Syrian field source said "the attack took place at night and surprised the militants. Dozens of them have been killed and the rest have escaped. The advance is constant on several axes in the region".
Regime forces and Hezbollah attacked the same region three weeks ago, controlling the towns of Deir al-Adas and Kafr Nasej in the northwestern countryside of Daraa. They were then forced to halt military operations due to the weather conditions.
These operations come after fighters of the Nusra Front and other factions managed to control large areas in the countryside of Daraa and Quneitra – provinces that connect Damascus, Jordan, and the Golan Heights.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer