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Syrian Regime Heads South to Recapture Dara’a | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A rebel carries suitcases and his weapon prior to boarding a bus as rebel fighters and their families evacuate the besieged Waer district in the central Syrian city of Homs on May 21, 2017. (Reuters)

Beirut – The Syrian regime has pushed military reinforcements to the southern front ahead of a strategic battle aimed at cementing its presence in the areas it controls in the city of Dara’a.

Opposition sources in the south told Asharq Al-Awsat that its forces are getting prepared for the battle, noting that the opposition has made progress and recently targeted regime reinforcements headed to Dara’a.

Sources added that the battle with the regime will not be easy despite the intense airstrikes.

The regime reinforcements started hours after the visit of Maher Assad to Dara’a along with officers from the fourth armored division.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Director Rami Abdel Rahman said that the Syrian regime longs to put an end to the depletion of its forces on the contact lines in the city.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat however that the reinforcements and military preparations are insufficient for a wide operation in the south.

Although the huge reinforcements hint that the battle will not be limited to regaining Manshiya district, estimates show that seizing Dara’a has become a major regime concern.

Southern front spokesman Issam al-Rayes told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Manshiya district has become a nightmare for the regime that wants to restore it along with other regions in the city.”

He pointed out that the continuous airstrikes and bombardment that were launched two weeks ago have intensified in recent days, a sign that the battle is imminent.