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Syrian War Report – June 21, 2017: Government Forces Launched Large Advance In Daraa

On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a large military operation in an attempt to split the militant-held area in the Daraa province into two separate parts.

Initially, the SAA and the NDF captured the Daraa Air Defense Base and the Dahdah Hill, but then government forces were pushed to retreat and the joint militant forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) retook the area.

The SAA and the NDF also pushed in the direction of the Grain warehouses and inside the Palestinian camp but were not able to make notable gains.

During the clashes, militants destroyed a government forces battle tank, captured a battle tank, a bulldozer, and armoured vehicle.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Air Force continued bombing militant targets in the border area. This indicates that the SAA and the NDF may repeat an attempt to reach the border. If this is done, government force would develop momentum in the area in order to cut off supply lines to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies inside the city of Daraa.

In the eastern Damascus desert, government forces have captured the Bir Qassab area. The advance was made after a series of firefights with US-backed militants. Government forces steadily drive US-backed forces from the eastern Damascus desert. According to some experts, the goal of this effort is to isolate US-led coalition troops and their allied militant units in the border area near the US military facilities of At Tanf and Al Zqur.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured Kasrat al Faraj from ISIS in the city of Raqqah. Clashes continued in al-Baryd and Qadisiyyah.

A pilot of the Syrian Su-22 downed by the US-led coalition, Lieutenant Colonel Ali Fahd, was captured by SDF units. Since then, negotiations are ongoing between the government and the SDF to free him.

 

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