Syrian Regime, ISIS Racing Over Control of ‘Opposition Sites’

Syrian Regime, ISIS Racing Over Control of ‘Opposition Sites’

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 06:15
A soldier loyal to Bashar al-Assad's forces is seen in Quneitra, Syria July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Beirut - Nazeer Rida
Syrian regime forces and ISIS militants have been racing to control positions abandoned last week by rebels linked to the Free Syrian Army in the countryside of west Daraa and Quneitra near the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

ISIS seized at least 18 villages, widening territory it controls in Syria.

On the other hand, regime forces are close to fully recapturing a string of villages along the border with the Golan Heights and therefore seize the entire Quneitra province.

Regime military operations had mainly focused Sunday on ISIS pockets in the Yarmouk basin, which borders the Golan and Jordan. However, the terrorist group’s affiliated forces repelled a ground attack by the regime and its allies.

Activists said Sunday that al-Nusra Front fighters set on fire the Quneitra crossing that separates the Golan’s liberated and occupied sides and vacated their positions leaving behind weapons and ammunition.

Meanwhile, buses carrying fighters and civilians evacuating the area after refusing to sign a deal with the Syrian regime in the South, were stopped for hours in Homs before resuming their trip to Mourek in the countryside of southern Hama, thanks to Russia’s interference.

Syrian activists said Iranian-backed militias surrounded a bus carrying refugees who left Quneitra and was heading towards northern Syria when it entered from the western gate of the Homs city.

Meanwhile, Russian military police and Syria’s police are expected to deploy in the area of the 1974 demilitarized zone with Israel after fighters and their families leave Quneitra.

Separately, Syria's official news agency, SANA, quoted on Sunday a military source as saying, “One of our military positions in Masyaf was the target of an Israeli air aggression.”

The news agency said there were no casualties as a result of the air raid, “with the aggression causing only material damage.”

Russia Today’s correspondent said the attack targeted a scientific research facility in the area, while other reports said Iran was managing the targeted location.

Al Mayadeen channel said the Israeli planes fired missiles from Lebanon’s airspace.

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