Activists: IS stymies rebel operations in Daraa





eastern Daraa provinceJune 2, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-6-2-15/The Islamic State launched an attack Tuesday on a rebel-controlled area in the eastern Daraa countryside in what activists are calling an attempt to stifle a new opposition campaign to capture one of the regime's last remaining strongholds in the province. “IS's attack [on the al-Laja area] comes as the rebels have said they will undertake military operations soon against the regime, just as IS recently attacked the Aleppo countryside and frustrated rebel plans there,” Abu Dharghan al-Hourani, a pro-opposition citizen journalist embedded with rebels in Daraa, told Syria Direct Tuesday. Less than a week ago, rebels announced a new battle against the regime-controlled city of Izraa, adjacent to al-Laja. “If rebels took control of Izraa, that would mean the south has left regime control, as the regime would no longer have any locations of real military value,” said al-Hourani, relaying information from a rebel commander in the area. Al-Laja borders Suwayda province to the east. While several pro-IS media outlets and Twitter accounts reported that the Islamic State had captured four villages in the area, a Tuesday announcement by a rebel brigade involved in the fighting denied that information. “We were waiting for the rebels to launch two large battles in Daraa, except that IS's attack stopped both battles until further notice,” Abu Skander al-Hourani, a citizen journalist also embedded with Daraa rebels, told Syria Direct Tuesday. Syrian state media reported an Islamic State presence in Suwayda on Tuesday: “An army unit, in cooperation with the Popular Defense Forces, carried out on Tuesday a number of operations against positions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in al-Qasr village in the northeastern countryside of Sweida province in the southern region.”
Facts collected from tagged text on this page
Facts about this page
The Islamic State launched an attack Tuesday on a rebel-controlled area in the eastern Daraa countryside in what activists are calling an attempt to stifle a new opposition campaign to capture one of the regime's last remaining strongholds in the province. “IS's attack [on the al-Laja area] comes as the rebels have said they will undertake military operations soon against the regime, just as IS recently attacked the Aleppo countryside and frustrated rebel plans there,” Abu Dharghan al-Hourani, a pro-opposition citizen journalist embedded with rebels in Daraa, told Syria Direct Tuesday. Less than a week ago, rebels announced a new battle against the regime-controlled city of Izraa, adjacent to al-Laja. “If rebels took control of Izraa, that would mean the south has left regime control, as the regime would no longer have any locations of real military value,” said al-Hourani, relaying information from a rebel commander in the area. Al-Laja borders Suwayda province to the east. While several pro-IS media outlets and Twitter accounts reported that the Islamic State had captured four villages in the area, a Tuesday announcement by a rebel brigade involved in the fighting denied that information. “We were waiting for the rebels to launch two large battles in Daraa, except that IS's attack stopped both battles until further notice,” Abu Skander al-Hourani, a citizen journalist also embedded with Daraa rebels, told Syria Direct Tuesday. Syrian state media reported an Islamic State presence in Suwayda on Tuesday: “An army unit, in cooperation with the Popular Defense Forces, carried out on Tuesday a number of operations against positions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in al-Qasr village in the northeastern countryside of Sweida province in the southern region.”