Syrian Army Moves To Exterminate ISIS As Fighting Creeps Towards Israeli Border

The Syrian Army is advancing towards two of the last four pockets still controlled by the so-called Islamic State in their country, something again raising tensions with Israel, Press TV reports.

Syrian Army tank in western Dara’a in July 2018. (PHOTO: SouthFront.org)

In 2011, the city of Dara’a became the starting point for the Syrian “civil” war. Now, some seven years later, with half a million people dead and millions displaced, the city is being bombed to smithereens as some of the last hard-line Islamic State members are refusing to give up their grip of the city.

Just over an hour away, in the city of As-Suwayda, also known as Sweida, is being handed the same treatment.

Amid this, AFP has reported that the Islamic State has kidnapped 36 women and children in Sweida, supposedly to use as either human shields or hostages.

Excluding Dara’a and Sweida, the Islamic State only controls two other pockets located further east in Syria and one in Iraq.

Back in April, the Syrian Army finally overtook control over all of the Syrian capital of Damascus, although that battle was met with the controversy over the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma, which resulted in Damascus being targeted by 103 missiles in a limited-attack by the US, UK and France.

Syria as of July 30, 2018 | Red: Syrian Arab Army (SAA); Grey: Islamic State (ISIS); Yellow: Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF); Light green: Various rebel groups, mostly Islamist, among them Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS); Dark green: Turkish controlled territory. (PHOTO: LiveuaMap)

About a week ago, Israel evacuated hundreds of volunteers to the controversial “White Helmets” group, a “humanitarian” organization in Syria, from Dara’a to Jordan, where they are expected to be resettled in Europe or Canada within the coming weeks, according to Time.com. However, as Reuters points out, a majority of the volunteers in the group were left behind.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at the same time, called the White Helmets for “terrorists” and warned that they will be killed if they do not surrender to his army, adding that the Israeli evacuation was a geopolitical “scandal”.

In both 2015 and 2017, it has been reported that Israel has supported Sunni militias in Syria with supplies to maintain a buffer zone between them and the Syrian government, sometimes even going so far as to treating al-Qaida members in the Golan Heights.

On Wednesday, the Israelis demonstrated how dangerous the relations between the countries are as the IDF targeted three military positions of Syria’s ally Hezbollah in the Syrian province of Quneitra, bordering the Golan Heights. The attack was in response to a Syrian drone that had infiltrated Israeli airspace.

As Sputnik News reports, the Iranian Parliamentary General Director for International Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated in Iranian press confidence that the Syrian government may retake the Golan Heights from Israel, which was lost in the 1967 Six-Day War.