Syria Direct: News Update 12-1-14

Rebels lose momentum in Sheikh Miskeen

Regime warplanes have conducted at least 11 airstrikes on Sheikh Miskeen since Sunday as Syrian army forces backed by Hezbollah appear to be pushing rebels out of the strategic Daraa town, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Units from the army...managed yesterday, in cooperation with popular defense groups, to impose control on a number of buildings blocks in the western and eastern neighborhoods” of Sheikh Miskeen, located in the northern Daraa countryside, reported Syrian official news agency SANA Sunday.

Pro-opposition news site a-Durar a-Shamiya confirmed Sunday that the army had taken over the eastern neighborhood in Sheikh Miskeen, adding that rebels, including Jabhat a-Nusra, had pulled back to the rear lines of defense.

Rebels captured the majority of Sheikh Miskeen two weeks ago. The town sits along the Damascus-Daraa highway, effectively cutting off regime supply routes to Daraa city and its vicinity while under rebel control.

“The army will not stop the battle before securing supply routes for its forces,” unnamed military sources were quoted by the pro-regime al-Akhbar as saying on November 25.

Regime pushes back in Zahra and Nubul

Regime warplanes bombed an Islamic Front-controlled town Sunday in an attempt to fend off Islamist attacks on two nearby pro-regime towns in Aleppo province, reported pro-opposition Sham News Network on Monday.

Anadan, located just south of the encircled Shiite towns of Zahra and Nubul, is being used by the IF as a launchpad for the attacks.

Jabhat a-Nusra and Islamic Front battalions have attempted to capture the two regime strongholds north of Aleppo city for the past week, but appear deadlocked along the southern and eastern fronts of the towns.

The airstrikes targeted the area around a large mosque and killed at least eight citizens, said the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Damascus rebels stop underground attack

Rebels in Darayya discovered regime forces attempting to tunnel into the opposition-controlled town on Sunday, then detonated the passages and killed an unconfirmed number of pro-regime soldiers, reported pro-opposition Sham News Network.

Darayya, located south of Damascus near the regime-controlled Mezzeh Military Airport, has been encircled by the Syrian army for over two years.

The “heroes of the Free Syrian Army” uncovered the tunnels in the northern part of the city, reported the local news agency Darayya News.

In September, the fighters in the city attempted to negotiate a truce with regime before it collapsed, with both sides blaming each other for its failure.

Capture11 Regime warplanes bomb encircled Darayya on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Darayya Revolution.

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