Pro-Syrian regime forces and Russian-backed factions sent on Tuesday large military reinforcements to southern Syria after fierce clashes erupted between them in the city of Sweida.
Sources from the Southern Front, a Syrian opposition alliance consisting of factions affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, said that national defense forces pushed military reinforcements in the province of Sweida after several of its members were killed in confrontations with the Russian-backed 5th Corps in Al-Quraya and surrounding areas, near the administrative border with the eastern countryside of Daraa.
The sources told the German news agency that members of the national defense launched an attack on the 8th Corps positions located between the city of Basra al-Sham and al-Quraya. They said the Russian-backed factions pounded the Syrian-backed forces in al-Quraya and the villages of Barad and Mujaymer.
Residents in the countryside of Sweida fear additional tension between the two sides.
For its part, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said six pro-Syrian fighters of local factions were killed and seven others were injured in clashes and an attack on their post with a missile fired by the Russian-backed 5thCorps in Al-Mujaymer village in the south-western countryside of Sweida.
The Observatory said it documented fierce clashes between the 5th Corps and local gunmen from Sweida in the surrounding areas and outskirts of Al-Quraya in the western countryside of Sweida, near the administrative border with the eastern countryside of Daraa, amid confirmed reports of casualties among the 5th Corps.
The area experienced similar tension a few months ago, the Observatory said.
Meanwhile, fighters from Bosr Al-Harir in the eastern countryside of Daraa hijacked a bus carrying regime soldiers from Sweida and took them to an unknown location.
The kidnappers explained that this operation came as a response to the kidnapping of a person from Bosr Al-Harir town by fighters from Sweida a day earlier.
Separately, the Observatory said a new massacre took place in Hama as nine civilians were killed on Tuesday by Iranian-backed armed militias.
The civilians were killed while shepherding near the village of Fasdeh, east of Salamiyah in the eastern countryside of Hama.