FSA Launches New Offensive against ISIS in Syria’s South
The Free Syrian Army groups in southern Syria on Tuesday announced the start of an offensive against the so-called Jaish Khalid bin al-Walid, extremist group affiliated with ISIS. The offensive aims to oust the ISIS-linked group from western rural Dara’a.
Local activists said that the FSA groups began the offensive with a barrage of rocket and artillery shells on the positions of Jaish Khalid bin al-Walid, achieving direct hits. The preliminary shelling will be followed by ground attacks on the fronts of Tal Jamoua hill, Ashtara, the Tank Platoon, and the town of Jilin.
The Jaish Khalid bin al-Walid group seized control of most of the towns and villages in the Yarmouk basin following a surprise attack in February. The group laid siege on the town of Heet near the border with Jordan from three sides, but failed to break into the town despite the daily shelling on the positions of the FSA groups defending it.
In an offensive launched on March 18, the FSA groups drove ISIS militants out of many positions in eastern Qalamoun, including Tees, Sees, Makhoul, Sabaa Biyar, Zaza, Tal Makhoul hill, and Sad Risha. They have also recently captured strategic positions in Jabal al-Afaie hills following violent clashes with ISIS militants. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)