Here, Fursan al-Hourani, alias of a correspondent with the Umayya Media Center in Daraa, tells Ammar Hamou that a-Thaala military airport’s importance “arises from its position as a center for bombing the people of Daraa and the Golan Heights.”
Q: Why did rebels advance towards the a-Thaala military airport after capturing Liwa 52 instead of attacking Izraa?
“There are several priorities for the rebels of the Southern Front, among the most important being paralyzing the a-Thaala military airport, from which the regime hits nearby liberated [i.e. rebel-controlled] areas with barrel bombs, killing women and children and destroying residential areas.
The battle for a-Thaala will not cause the displacement of large numbers of civilians, whereas the city of Izraa is packed with residents and its capture will require some time, as well as securing safe locations to absorb fleeing civilians.
The rebels’ plan after capturing Liwa 52 was to attack a-Thaala airport.”
Q: Why exactly is the a-Thaala airport important to the regime?
“The importance of a-Thaala arises from its position as a center for bombing the people of Daraa and the Golan Heights. If the airport were to remain with the regime, the villages of the Houran will be in the regime warplanes’ crossfire.”