Rebel and FSA fighters have made further gains inside the Manshiyya district in Dara’a city, capturing strategic positions from regime forces after launching an attack on regime positions in the early morning hours of Thursday.
The district of Manshiyya is one of the most important districts of Daraa Albalad as regime forces used it as a launch pad for ground attacks on the liberated parts of the city. It also connects the liberated areas in Dara’a Albalad with those in the Dara’a Almahatta, the other half of the city. The district also overlooks the Wadi Zaidi valley, which separates Dara’a Almahatta from Dara’a Albalad. Furthermore, the Manshiya district overlooks the old customs department, a strategic border crossing with Jordan.
Activists in Dara’a said that the rebel and FSA groups on Thursday captured the strategic Salkhadi position from regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias. Around 20 pro-regime militants were killed or injured in the clashes, activists added.
Last month, rebel and FSA groups launched a major offensive to retake regime-held areas in Dara’a city. Since then, they have captured around 90 percent of the Manshiyya district.
Regime forces were forced to retreat despite the close aerial support provided by the Assad regime and Russian warplanes which have carried out an average of nearly 30 airstrikes on rebel and FSA positions since the FSA and rebel offensive began around a month ago. The airstrikes also target civilian homes and vital civilian facilities, knocking out the Dara’a Albalad Hospital and other medical and aid centers. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)