A senior commander in the Syrian Arab Army has spoken with Sputnik and revealed that government forces have advanced to within 4 km of the Jordanian border and have regained control of most of the villages in eastern Daraa.
In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, Syrian Brigadier-General Muri Hamdan said that the recent rapid advance of the Syrian army was made possible largely due to the fact that many militants had simply fled.
“Militants decided to avoid direct confrontation and capture. Over the course of the last several days, the Syrian army hasn’t faced any significant problems during its southward advance. There have been multiple confrontations, but not as severe as we expected,” he said.
Earlier, Syrian General Nizar Ismail said in a statement that during the army’s advance in Daraa, local militants had left hundreds of weapons and tons of ammunition behind when they fled. To this, Muri Hamdan added that a significant portion of the weapons were modern and that they had not been brought to the country from Jordan.
“Recently Amman has intensified its security on the border, so they [the weapons] couldn’t have come from there. Still, these were modern weapons that entered the country from abroad,” the Syrian brigadier general said.
The situation in war-torn Syria has escalated in recent weeks, with government troops responding to militant shelling of the cities of Daraa and Suwayda by launching an offensive. The operation is aimed at regaining control of the Syrian border with Jordan and ousting militants located there who have ignored a ceasefire reached with the help of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation. On July 6, the Syrian army reported that it had regained control over the Nasib crossing point on the Jordan border as a result of the offensive.