On March 16, a convoy of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) elite 4th Division was ambushed in the western countryside of Daraa.
Unidentified gunmen attacked the convoy, which consisted of a bus, a van and two pickups, as it was passing on the road between the towns of Muzayrib and al-Yadudah. As a result, heavy clashes broke out.
“During the clash, the regime used artillery and tanks, but no civilian objects were hit, and there were no civilian casualties,” Omar Alhariri, an opposition activist from Daraa, wrote on Twitter.
Despite the SAA heavy fire, the gunmen were able to escape after killing 22 service members and injuring at least five others. Many of the causalities were former rebels who joined the reconciliation process in the recent years.
Some sources in Daraa claimed that the 4th Division was preparing to storm Muzyrib in an attempt to justify the attack. However, Alhariri denied these claims.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, so far. ISIS cells are known to be active in western Daraa. However, other sides may be behind the attack.
Following the ambush, the SAA deployed reinforcements, including heavy weapons, near Muzayrib. New checkpoints were also set around the town. The army will likely take more serious measures in the next few days.
Last month, the SAA was preparing to launch a large-scale operation to arrest a group of wanted militants in western Daraa. However, former rebel leaders expelled the group from the area and accepted a new reconciliation agreement. This scenario may happen again.
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