Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

ISIS Relaunches Attack in South Damascus

ISIS Relaunches Attack in South Damascus

Thursday, 14 December, 2017 - 09:45
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters, Syria June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said

ISIS terrorist organization broke the deadlock in the southern field of the Syrian capital, Damascus, by launching an attack, the first in months, during which it managed to advance in al-Tadamon neighborhood.

The terrorist organization was also trying to secure a safe haven in the southeastern Syrian desert, by relocating and devising a new positioning plan in the vicinity of al-Tenf, before it was attacked by US-backed Syrian forces in the region.

Commander of the Revolutionary Commando's Army Colonel Muhannad al-Tallaa confirmed that hundreds of ISIS militants were spotted in al-Badia area behind "safety line" around the military base trying to set up a campsite in the desert.

Tallaa told Asharq al-Awsat that the forces launched an attack against them killing at least 13 and capturing 20, while others fled the areas and are being chased down.

He explained that these militants escaped the Euphrates Valley in the eastern region around Abu Kamal with ongoing clashes between Syrian regime focers and the Syrian Democratic Forces, adding that most of the fighters were foreigners.

Tallaa indicated that what happened was not a breach of the area protected by the international coalition.

"The question today is how they got to the region," he said, noting that the regime and its allies are in control of large areas all the way to the Iraqi border. He added that the regime most likely "had small gaps through which members of the terrorist organization infiltrated to areas of our control."

"We will prevent their relocation or placement in our region and areas surrounding the Syrian desert," added Tallaa, pointing that ISIS changed its tactics from fighting on a broad front to working with smaller groups seeking to kidnap soldiers of the regime or fighters, while the regime is incapable of controlling the region.

Spokesperson of Free Syrian Army’s Revolutionary Commando Army Mohammed Mustafa al-Jarrah announced that coalition air force and fighters, including Revolutionary Commando, thwarted an ISIS attack near “Area 55” in the vicinity of al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq.

Coalition military base in the region includes five groups of fighters: Revolutionary Commando, Lions of the East Army, Forces of Martyr Ahmed al-Abdo, Brigade of the Two Villages Martyrs, and Army of Free Tribes.

Meanwhile, sudden clashes erupted in the southern part of Damascus between regime forces and armed forces loyal to them, against ISIS militants and other Islamist factions in al-Tadamon neighborhood.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that ISIS fighters attacked regime posts in the neighborhood on Wednesday and managed to advance into 12 buildings and locations, followed by a violent counterattack by the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, resulting in several deaths among both parties.

ISIS is in control of small neighborhoods south of Damascus including: Black Rock neighborhood and al-Yarmouk Camp, yet, the area hadn't seen such fierce clashes in about a year.

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