With Russian support, pro-Assad forces to launch new military operation against rebels southern Syria

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Pro-Assad army forces. File photo

ARA News

DARAA – Syrian regime forces started moving large weaponry shipments toward a key military airport in the province of As-Suwayda, southern Syria, in preparation for a new military operation in Daraa province against rebel groups fighting against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, local activists reported on Friday.

The regime army forces have taken al-Khalkhala military airport as a center for receiving large batches of arms and ammunition to launch operations against rebel groups in the nearby Daraa province.

“The shipments have been stored in the airport’s warehouses by the regime’s army,” media activist Ibrahim al-Jahid told ARA News in Daraa, pointing out that “pro-regime forces and allied Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have been preparing to launch an extensive military operation against Syrian rebels in the southern front –supported by Russian air cover in Daraa and its environs.

The source added that the weapons and ammunition arrived to the military airport by land as well as through cargo planes believed to be Russian.

“We have seen the landing of several cargo planes in the airport over the past two weeks,” an eyewitness told ARA News, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In the meantime, rebel field commander of the Yarmouk Army, Moumin al-Horani, confirmed that the Syrian regime and allies are expected to launch an extensive military operation in Daraa and its countryside in case the fragile truce and negotiations between the regime and opposition failed. 

 Hourani told ARA News that the regime has filled the airport with munitions, heavy artillery rockets and stereochemistry missiles as well as guided missiles and anti-armor and tank shells.

“Al-Khalkhala military airport is a key bastion to provide the pro-regime checkpoints with ammunition in Daraa and its countryside,” he said.

Al-Khalkhala is one of the largest military airports in the Syrian southern province of As-Suwayda. It is taken by the regime’s air brigade 73 as a major stronghold in the south, which includes two squadrons of MiG 23 and MiG 21. The airport is surrounded with a number of hills most of which are controlled by the radical group of the Islamic State (ISIS). 

Reporting by: Haitham Hassan

Source: ARA News

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