The Islamic State franchise Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk recaptured two villages from rebel brigades near the Jordanian border in the western Daraa countryside, on Wednesday.
Here, an activist with the pro-opposition Naba agency who preferred anonymity, talks to Noura Hourani about the steep price that civilians, caught in the crossfire and unable to flee, have paid because of the rebel infighting.
Q: How are civilians doing in the areas where fighting is ongoing?
“To be honest, in some areas the humanitarian situation is pretty bad. There are a number of dead and wounded civilians who fell during the clashes and bombing, among them children under 10. There are dozens of civilians who were unable to flee their houses because of the intensity of the bombardment.”
Q: What is the importance of those areas that Liwa Shuhada al-Yarmouk recaptured from Jabhat a-Nusra and Ahrar a-Sham?
“These areas are located right next to the Haud al-Yarmouk area that is under Liwa Shuhada Yarmouk’s control, which in turn sits right next to the Jordanian border. It overlooks the Houran valley.
According to available information, a large number among the ranks of Nusra and Ahrar a-Sham were killed, including a military leader in Nusra named Abu Musaab al-Jahamani.”
Q: There are indications that the judiciary (Dar al-Adl) will issue a ruling to solve the dispute after being called upon to do so because of the number of civilians killed in the fighting. Will there actually be a reconciliation?
“Until now these are merely indications. The matter depends on the brigades that are fighting. The coming hours or days will prove whether the factions abide by the reconciliation initiative or not.”