Assad Forces Continue to Violate Ceasefire in Southern Syria Backed by Russian Air Force
The Assad regime and allied foreign militias continue to violate the US-Russian brokered ceasefire which entered its third day on Tuesday. Regime forces and their allies launched an offensive on the FSA positions in eastern rural Suweida. The forces the Assad regime used to launch the offensive were largely drawn from the provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra, both covered by the ceasefire agreement.
A spokesman for Ahmad al-Adbo FSA group al-Suwayda described the ground attack regime forces launched in rural Suweida the largest so far. He said that regime forces captured several FSA positions under Russian aerial cover.
Local activists said that they have recorded three breaches of the ceasefire by regime forces in southern Syria since the agreement came into force on Sunday.
Regime forces also shelled the towns of Naima and Saida in eastern rural Dara’a with heavy artillery and rockets. The Manshiya neighborhood in Daraa city came under shelling by tanks. Regime forces also carried out artillery shelling on Hamriya hill in rural Quneitra.
The regime ground attack on rural Suweida prompted an exodus of civilians from the area which came under intense bombardment with all types of weapons, local activists said. Fighters of the Osoud Sharqiya, Ahmad Abdo, and the Tribal Army FSA groups said they were clashing with regime forces to prevent them from making further advances on the area.
The cease-fire agreement in southern Syria took effect on Sunday and covers the provinces of Suweida, Dara’a and Quneitra. However, the Assad regime soon exploited the deal to deploy its forces to eastern rural Suweida and the Syrian Desert in an attempt to advance on the FSA-held areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)