Daraa’s military escalation | Regime forces bring in new military reinforcement to western frontlines, amid fears of renewed clashes in Tafas
Daraa Province – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: SOHR sources have reported tense calm prevailing in Tafas city in the western countryside of Daraa since last night, after violent clashes and bombardment between regime forces and the 4th Division on one hand, and former fighters of the factions “Fajr Al-Islam on the other. These clashes and bombardment have left casualties on both sides, while members of the two sides were captured.
Meanwhile, Observatory sources have monitored build-ups of both sides that have been on high alert, particularly regime forces and the 4th Division, amid fears of renewed clashes.
On the other hand, reliable SOHR sources have confirmed that regime forces have brought in new military reinforcement this morning to the western outskirts of Daraa. It is worth noting that yesterday’s clashes were the most violent in the entire province since regime forces captured Daraa in 2018.
Yesterday, SOHR sources said that former fighters of “Fajr al-Islam” faction, led by Khaldoun al-Zu’bi, captured three regime soldiers during clashes in Tafas town of Daraa countryside. Meanwhile, armed members of opposition factions attacked a checkpoint of the “4th Division”, north of Saham al-Golan town, taking the control of a checkpoint on Nafa’a-Al-Shajara road in Daraa countryside. No casualties were reported.
SOHR sources had reported ongoing fierce clashes in Tafas city in the western countryside of Daraa between ex-fighters of “Fajr Al-Islam” faction led by Khaldoun Al-Zu’bi on one hand, and the 4th Division and regime soldiers on the other, in the wake of a security campaign and an attack on the headquarters of “Fajr Al-Islam” in the city since early morning.
According to SOHR sources, the ex-fighters managed to repel the 4th Division’s attacks and unleashed a counterattack, amid exchange of rocket fire between both sides. Meanwhile, a state of panic was prevailing among the city’s residents, especially with the use of heavy weapons, as these clashes were the most violent since the Syrian regime regained Daraa.
The ongoing clashes and exchange of bombardment left four members of the 4th Division dead and others injured, while several members of “Fajr Al-Islam” were also killed and injured.
SOHR sources confirmed that Russian forces mediated to ease the situation in the region, as a meeting was held between representatives of the Russian-backed “5th Corps” and representatives of regime forces in Daraa Al-Mahattah in Daraa city, in an attempt to defuse the conflict and put an end to the fight and tension in the area, especially after the failure of negotiations in the previous day.
A few hours earlier, reliable sources informed SOHR that fierce clashes erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning in Tafas city in the western countryside of Daraa, after a military group of the 4th Division had attacked the headquarters of an ex-commander of “Fajr Al-Islam” faction. The clashes coincided with exchange of shelling, amid a state of panic among the city’s residents.
Meanwhile, regime forces were seeking to capture this headquarters and seize the weapons there, including heavy weapons. This development came after the failure of yesterday’s negotiations, as the Syrian regime have conditioned the deportation of former commanders and fighters of opposition factions to Idlib and the handing over of their heavy weapons.