Regime and allies take territory along Jordanian border
Pro-Assad forces have advanced in southeast Syria, taking territory in eastern Suweida Province along the Jordanian border.
An outlet of Hezbollah, the Lebanese organization allied with the Assad regime, said the forces gained control over all checkpoints and border posts on Thursday. A regime military source claimed the army and its allies took more than 1300 square km, including a 30-km (19-mile) stretch along the frontier.
Said Saef, a spokesman for the Martyr Ahmed Abdo Brigade, part of the Southern Front rebel bloc, confirmed: “Most of the eastern Sweida countryside is now in the hands of the regime. They are now on the Jordanian border and back to outposts they had evacuated early in the conflict.”
Another rebel spokesman said the pro-Assad offensive took advantage of a sudden pull-back by the Jaish al-Ashair faction, backed by Jordan, which had patrolled the area along the border.
The US-led Military Operations Command, based in Jordan’s capital Amman, has restricted aid to the Southern Front since 2015. Jordanian and US sources confirmed that US and Russian officials have been meeting in Amman since late May.
Suweida Province lies outside the US-Russian de-escalation zone declared last month in southwestern Syria, near the Israel-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan. However, to disguise the nature of the conflict, the regime military source said the advance was against “ISIS terrorists”. A pro-Assad website showed more honesty, describing a defeat for “the once US-backed rebels”.
YouTube Blocking Videos of Syria Attacks
YouTube has been removing videos of attacks inside Syria by the Assad regime, the US-led coalition, and the Islamic State.
Middle East Eye, the monitoring organization Airwars, and the open source investigations site Bellingcat have all had footage removed.
The blocks began days after Google, which owns YouTube, said it had launched artificial intelligence program that it said can spot and flag “extremist” videos without human involvement.
Since then, the Syria clips, videos of the Islamic State’s destruction of artefacts and monuments, ISIS’s suicide attacks in its failed defense of Mosul in Iraq, and evidence in the court case against Chelsea Manning — the US soldier who gave WikiLeaks thousands of documents about US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan — have been removed.
Chris Woods of AirWars commented, “I think what’s so troubling about this if we look at the Syrian accounts, this is video chronicling a six or seven years war, and some of the most important parts of that war from the perspective of Syrians,.”