Syria’s army and its allies are advancing against a remaining Daesh pocket in the southwestern Dara’a and Sweida provinces amid reports of Israeli reconnaissance aircraft loitering near the operation theater.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said the army carried out concerted attacks Sunday against remnants of the Takfiri terror group in the Yarmouk Valley near Jordan.
Army units were engaged in violent clashes with terrorists on the outskirts of the al-Shajara town, where a local Daesh commander identified as Abu Walid al-Masri was killed.
Footage broadcast by the Syrian state television from near the scene of the fighting showed military vehicles moving along a road.
Daesh holds only a small area of Dara’a Province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, after army advances last week forced the Takfiri group to retreat.
SANA said Israeli reconnaissance aircraft flew near al-Shajara when terrorist suicide bombers were attempting to reach army positions and the advancing forces.
Syrian troops also found a US-made TOW missile and improvised explosive devices in one of the Daesh hideouts in addition to American and Israeli food products, the news agency reported.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army was also bombing Daesh positions in the nearby Province of Sweida.
The bombing comes after the macabre terror group attacked the provincial capital and nearby villages on Wednesday, killing more than 220 people.
It also took hostages from among local people, with a non-Syrian source close to Damascus, saying that an informal communications channel had been opened to try to release them.
Daesh leaked photos of 14 women from Sweida, saying they were kidnapped from their houses. The militants have threatened to harm the hostages if the Syrian army does not halt its offensive in the Yarmouk Valley near Jordan and the Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post said.
The explosive revelation by the former minister of military affairs came during an interview reported Saturday on Israeli Channel 10’s website.
Several top militant commanders have reportedly fled southern Syria to Israel in the face of army advances after hundreds of Western-backed “White Helmets” were evacuated to Jordan in a coordinated operation.
Syria has denounced the Israeli evacuation of the White Helmets as a “scandal,” which was reportedly in the works for some time but was sped up after a recent NATO summit in Brussels.
The self-described volunteer rescue group stands accused of being the “media arm” for Takfiri groups, and has been charged with staging false flag chemical attacks in a bid to prompt a Western military intervention in Syria.
Israel has stressed that it was not intervening in the ongoing fighting in Syria. Just last week, an Israeli airstrike hit a military post in the city of Misyaf in Hama Province.