According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Syrian opposition announced on Thursday through footage posted online that it had launched an operation dubbed “Southern Storm” in the South which comprises 51 groups, including the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.
Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic Movement of al Mothanna and many other prominent opposition groups had joined the “Southern Storm” to capture the southern territories, specifically Daraa, from the Syrian regime forces.
A speaker in the footage is shown reading a military statement in which he said:
“We, in the Central Military Operation Room of Asefat al-Janoub [Southern Storm] Battle, have announced the start of the battles’ epic and the top cooperation; the battle of Asefat al Janoub.”
“This battle is going to uproot the tyrants from Horan, break the chain of slavery and restore the usurped right and sovereignty of the people for facilities and institutions establish by sweat and blood of people,” the speaker added.
“We promise Allah, his prophet and our people to continue to liberate every occupied inch from those who choose injustice and oppression to be their method.”
According to the Britain-based SOHR, the clashes were accompanied by artillery shelling on regime forces’ positions in the city.
Regime helicopters dropped at least 60 barrel bombs since Wednesday after midnight until Thursday on places in Daraa al-Balad.
The neighborhoods of Tariq al Sad, Daraa camp in the city of Daraam, the towns of al Na’imah, Om al Mayazen, Nawa, Tafas Othamn, al Yadodah and Nasib, as well as on the border crossing of Nasib and al- Jabiyah Hill were all hit by barrel bombs.
The SOHR reported the deaths of three regime forces and the arrests of three others during the clashes in the town of Otman.
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition made a significant advance in the northern Aleppo province. Rebels captured Laymoun square, as the regime aircraft struck the northern countryside of the city of Aleppo.
Rebel battalion shelled regime controlled areas in the neighbourhood of Jam’eyyat al Zahra’a in Aleppo using several homemade explosives.
Clashes are still ongoing between the rebels and the regime forces aided by militiamen in the Al Khaldiyeh neighbourhood in Aleppo amid mutual shelling.