Syria Daily: Pro-Assad Forces Continue Bombardment of Daraa

Rebels warn of counter-offensive by Assad regime and allies to take all of Daraa city


Pro-Assad forces are continuing their bombardment of Daraa, the birthplace of Syria’s uprising in March 2011.

The Assad regime and its allies have bombed, shelled, and rocketed the city, in the south near the Jordanian border for months; however, the assault has escalated in the past weeks, with hundreds of munitions fired, including barrel bombs and “elephant” rockets.

Initially, the attacks were to check a rebel advance inside the city which took most of the strategic building of Manshiyah, home to many regime and security buildings. But rebel commanders are now warning of a pro-Assad counter-offensive trying to reclaim all of Daraa, divided since 2012. Hezbollah and Iranian-led Iraqi militias are among the pro-Assad ground forces.

Claims this morning include 17 surface-to-surface missiles, 12 barrel bombs, and six airstrikes on the Old City section of Daraa.

“The regime has brought large columns of troops from the elite 4th Armoured Division, and also Hezbollah forces,” said Major Issam al-Reis, spokesman of the Southern Front bloc. “Everything indicates the regime is preparing for a large-scale military campaign in Daraa in which they plan to encircle the city and reach the Jordanian border.”

Adham al-Karad, the commander of the Southern Front’s missile brigade, added: “Our surveillance shows troop carriers and heavy armor….If it continues at this same level of reinforcements, this will be very large.”

The Free Syrian Army said it blocked the latest attempt by pro-Assad forces from entering the Daraa camp for displaced persons, despite heavy aerial and missile bombardment. It claimed it killed six troops, including Colonel Ahmad Tajo, a commander of the elite 4th Division.

The FSA acknowledged the loss of one of their military commanders, Farhan Hammadi, in the battle.

Officials said last week that Russia and the US, through their special envoys for Syria, are in discussions over a “de-escalation” zone for southwest Syria which includes part of Daraa Province. However, it was unclear if the zone will cover Daraa city.

See Syria Daily, June 10: Russia & US Discuss “De-Escalation Zone” in Southwest

TOP PHOTO: Smoke rises from pro-Assad bombardment of the Manshiyah district of Daraa city, June 4, 2017

Iran Regime: US Backing Islamic State

Iran’s regime has renewed its declarations that — contrary to all evidence in the air and on the ground inside Syria — the US is supporting the Islamic State.

The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian military, Major General Mostafa Izadi, said Sunday:

We are facing a proxy warfare in the region as a new trick by the arrogant powers against the Islamic Republic.

As the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, said, we possess documents and information showing the direct supports by the US imperialism for this highly disgusting stream in the region which has destroyed the Islamic countries and created a wave of massacres and clashes.

Izadi did not produce any of the documents. The US has been engaged in an aerial campaign against ISIS since September 2014, and has been working with ground forces — notably the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Free Syrian Army — pushing back the Islamic State in northern and eastern Syria.

The Iranian revision of the facts may be to press the US to pull back from both the north and east as pro-Assad forces approach the lines of both the SDF and the FSA. Within the past month, the US has carried out three sets of airstrikes against pro-Assad forces — including Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Iraqi militia — to keep them outside a 55-km (34-mile) zone around the FSA’s base, with US special forces, near Tanf on the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry added its condemnation of the US on Monday, with spokesman Bahram Qassemi asserting:

The Syrian issue is complicated. Unfortunately, the Americans show stronger presence in certain times when the terrorists are in an improper situation and they try to buy them time and change the power balance.

The US should allow Syria to make its efforts to restore stability and security and defend the country’s territorial integrity.

Russia Proclaims Pro-Assad Takeover of “Large City”, Population 4,430

Promoting the Assad regime’s armed forces, the Russian military has turned three villages in central Syria into “large cities”.

Colonel-General Sergey Surovikin proclaimed:

The offensive along the western bank of the Euphrates is gaining momentum in the northeast of the Aleppo province. Units of the Syrian armed forces and people’s militia have driven out militants of ISIS (former name of Islamic State) from such large cities as Maskanah, Ramtan, Shatna, and approached the city of Tabqa.

Maskanah’s population in 2004 was 4,430. Ramtan and Shatna are even smaller.

But Russian State outlet TASS does not quibble, headlining, “Syrian Government Forces Drive Out IS Militants from Three Big Cities”.

The significance of the pro-Assad advance, beyond the PR exaggerations of the Russians, is that it puts those forces close to the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces as they try to overrun the Islamic State’s central position in northern Syria, the city of Raqqa.

The SDF completed the capture of the city of Tabqa (2004 population: 69,425) last month.

Reports: Rebel In-Fighting in Northwest

Reports are circulating of in-fighting among rebel factions in al-Bab in Aleppo Province.

Several people were killed and scores injured, a rebel source said. The reasons for the clashes are not clear, but a local source said, “Some criminal gangs flying the independence flag were busted.”

Supported by Turkish airstrikes and weapons, rebels captured al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo city, from the Islamic State in February.

Last week the jihadists of Hay’at Tahrar al-Sham — which includes Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, once formally linked to Al Qa’eda — reportedly attacked rebel groups and demonstrators in the town of Ma’arat al-Num’an in Idlib Province.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. What is your infatuation with Trump, Scott? Don’t you have better things to do than join the legions of deranged Trump bashers and whiners? I am no Trump supporter and voted for Hillary. But the amount of anti-Trump activity I see is not healthy, and is now turning into an attack on democracy itself. The guy will be gone in less than four years and hasn’t managed to do anything of interest so far.

    • Amrica and democracy? don’t make me laugh Kazemi.. You already live in a self-preserving kleptocratic system. Only the rich are somewhat free there, the poor are slaves at best or a disposable trash that no one cares about. Trump is only a reflection of the deep status of despair the Americans are in

        • Except the Palestinians and Arabs are the most self-congratulating, most politically and intellectually illiterate, and the laziest/complacent people on earth, with no interest to improve themselves and take responsibility for anything. After all, they are chosen by god and are the only people that can get into paradise. As long as the world pays them billions to keep up their anti-Jew activities, they will have no incentive to join civilization.

      • What nonsense Amir. Have you ever lived or worked in America? If you have, then you must be a sore loser. Mobility is at its greatest in America and those who wish to progress can progress in ways that no other place in the world can offer. America will be the last place that socialism will destroy – guaranteed. “kleptrocratic”? Credible academic statistical evidence please. You postmodern hesperophobe nihilists are looking forward to a communist or fascist revolution. Not going to happen on my watch.

    • Trump’s a crook of vast proportions – if you want to know why @Khanoisseur and @20committee (a former NSA analyst and Counter-Intelligence expert) to find out. Just to give you a taster – in 2006 one of Trump’s VP for his casinos was discovered money laundering for Chinese gangsters by a NewJersey Senate Committee, Trump backed him, in another instance it’s discovered that 60% of Trump’s condominium’s in Florida is owned by Ukrainian money-launderers, the father of Trump’s business associate Felix Sater is a lawyer for Simeon Migolevich (sp?) an infamous gangster implicated in the assassination of the Russian dissident Litvinenko and is known to have ties to Putin’s security services – the information is all out of there and it’s a near miracle that Trump hasn’t been impeached yet.

  2. “Iran Regime: US Backing Islamic State”

    An exact copy of deranged WW2 soviet-style propaganda. In those days soviet propaganda inverted the terms of the equation by claiming that the nazis were secretly allied with evil capitalist US (this was done in order to hidde the humiliating fact of the communist revolution being assisted by the US in its war efforts).

    In the present case the propaganda is a desperate attempt to soften the cognitive dissonance of an anti-imperialist milieu wich has vaguely started to become aware of the fundamental dependance of iraqi pro-iranian proxies on US´s resources.

    • And once the US destroys ISIS – something which the Russians and Shias were loath to do, and US takes over eastern Syria and western Iraq, “US backing ISIS” will become “US destroyed ISIS as a plot to occupy the Levant”. And the insufferable regressive leftists will swallow that propaganda and fake narratives hook, line and sinker.

      West needs a cultural revolution to destroy the regressives and so-called anti-imberialists.

  3. After giving their enemies EVERY chance of succes the regime has steadily started to reconquer all of Syria and in a certain sense it has proved entitled to do that. The mukhabarat, replenished with those who have lost their beloved ones will sooner or later start the haunting season, many western politicians will need to sleep with one eye open.

    #Syria #Assad-forces advance & bypass #SDF south of #Tabqa/#Raqqa

  4. 1st Northern Syrian Women’s Economy Conference will be held on June 15 in Qamishlo of Cizîr Canton with the participation of 150 delegates and 200 guests. 6/9/2017

    The economy of the areas under democratic self-administration is marked by the effects of the blockade and war. But there has been a proliferation of cooperatives, and an emphasis on women’s cooperatives to enable women to be economically independent. 5/13/2017

    Above all, the Rojava Revolution is a women’s revolution. What makes it distinct this way is the creation of military, political, and economic mechanisms that empower women and their participation in the revolution. The women’s cooperatives are one of these mechanisms. 6/12/2017

  5. #International: A while back I wondered out loud how much strategic sense it would make for Israel to have a covert anti-Hezbollah/IRGC alliance (e.g. providing intell on targets as well as supply weapons) with the Southern Front FSA especially since the IRGC and Hezbollah have increased their military presence south of Damascus in the area around Deraa. At the time other posters dismissed that as something that would never happen. Well guess what? It seems Israel does have a covert alliance with a group of rebels in Quneitra and according to this link Israel’s intends to use the same strategy in the Syrian civil war that it used during the Lebanese civil war –
    “Despite its official policy of non-intervention, Israel has taken on a very proactive role in Syria, working to establish an Israel-friendly zone in Quneitra, akin to its strategy in southern Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. What began as tentative contacts with opposition factions and residents across the fence in 2012 has turned into a full-fledged, multifaceted operation that has military, logistical, political and humanitarian dimensions, according to an investigation by Syria Deeply, which interviewed residents, Syrian intelligence officials and opposition members for this story…Israel’s “safe zone” now unofficially runs roughly 6 miles (10km) deep and 12 miles (20km) long beyond the demarcation line of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The effort is intended to prevent the Syrian government and its allies, specifically Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, from maintaining a foothold along the Israeli fence. Israel used a similar tactic to establish a zone of control in the south of Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war.”
    What I tell you? Here’s another prediction by me – IF the IRGC and Hezbollah replaces the SAA and the Republican Guards in the provinces of Deraa and Suwaiyda and they (Ie IRGC and Hezbollah) decide to increase their military presence in those two provinces by 10 fold then not only would it rattle the Israelis but it’ll also likely to rattle the Jordanians enough to force them to send troops (like the Turks did in northern Aleppo to block the PKK/YPG) into Suwayda just to create a buffer between the Jordanian state and the IRGC. Mark my words the presence of US HIMARS long-range artillery system in Jordan is just a prelude to this.

  6. Mosul Campaign Day 242 Jun 15 2017:

    “Reuters interviewed several people living in the Old City under the Islamic State. One man talked about how people were slowly dying from hunger. He saw people shot by IS laying out on the street. The militants would not allow them to be buried wanting their corpses to be a warning to others who thought of escaping. A woman described how people were drinking foul water out of wells they dug. Tens of thousands of people are believed to still be living under IS in the city. They are facing huge deprivations in terms of food, water, medicine, not to mention the constant shelling, air strikes, use as human shields, and executions. They can’t wait for their liberation.”

    “Tens of thousands of people are believed to still be living under IS in the city”

    “They are facing huge deprivations in terms of food, water, medicine, not to mention the constant shelling, air strikes, use as human shields, and executions”

    The coalition is doing exactly the same thing that Assad and Russia did in Aleppo but this time there´s no international outrage…

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