Fierce fighting continued in the Tariq al-Sad and al-Mukhayam neighbourhoods in the al-Balad area of Daraa between local factions and the Eighth Brigade on the one hand and ISIS cells on the other.
Activists told Shaam Network that ISIS detonated a booby-trapped bomb in the al-Hammadeen neighbourhood in the Tariq al-Sadd neighbourhood. It was heard throughout the city of Daraa, and smoke plumes were seen from the area. There were no casualties among members of the local factions and the Eighth Brigade, and its damage was limited to the material only.
Regarding the development of the ongoing battles since the beginning of November, local factions were able to take control of new sites and areas in the Tariq al-Sadd neighbourhood and al-Mukhayam on Monday. Activists told Shaam Network that the factions could take control of the house of Muhammad al-Masalma, known as “Hafo”, and several other surrounding houses.
Activists confirmed to Sham Network that ISIS members retreated and became besieged in some areas, as the factions were able to take control of two weapons stores of ISIS cells containing a number of weapons, ammunition and improvised explosive devices.
The fiercest battles with heavy machine guns and medium weapons are taking place in the Hammadeen neighborhood in the Tariq al-Sadd neighborhood. It is considered the main stronghold of ISIS, where local factions have managed to take control of several buildings.
Statement of dignitaries calls for the eradication of ISIS
On Sunday, notables and elders of the Daraa tribes issued a statement announcing their complete acquittal of members of a group that kidnaps, imposes tributes and is affiliated with ISIS, which has taken some neighborhoods of Daraa as their hideout.
The statement stressed that everyone who supports the members of the group and conceals and defends them is one of them. It stressed the need to continue to eradicate this malignant “tumor” before it spreads throughout the “body” and leads to its destruction.
The statement pointed out that the eradication of this group has become a religious and moral duty. It called on the people of Daraa and Houran in general to be united in the face of this group and not to involve anyone with them.
The statement of the dignitaries added: We were and still are the owners of the right to support the oppressed and help the needy, we honor the guest, we pay everything in order to preserve our dignity and pride and live free and dignified adhering to our rights and civil contract.
The statement continued: Until a group of corrupt mercenaries came, headed by an ISIS emir who implements Iranian agendas, and they began to wreak havoc on the social fabric in order to strike its cohesion and cause strife and differences between its components. They formed a corrupt ISIS gang, which was kidnapping, stealing, imposing royalties and killing.
The dignitaries and elders noted that despite all the tireless attempts to push them back, they increased arrogance and tyranny, until the recent suicide bombing in one of the public shrines in Daraa, which killed a group of innocent civilians. This act is clear and explicit evidence, and has no justification or explanation except that it is a terrorist act.
Social media users circulated video recordings proving Hafo’s affiliation with ISIS, with its involvement over the past years in several bombings and assassinations, especially its responsibility for the bombing of a camp of Jaysh al-Islam near the town of Naseeb in the eastern countryside of Daraa in 2017. It led to the death of dozens of martyrs and the fall of many wounded, most of them from Daraa governorate.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.