The former opposition has dealt massive blows to ISIS’ strength in south Syria as part of an anti-ISIS campaign spanning several weeks that has eliminated senior members of the radical group. Although they were unaware of his presence at the time, a mid-October raid by former opposition forces against an ISIS cell in Jasim killed Abu al-Hasan al-Qurayshi—the head of ISIS—who had been hiding in a stretch of western Daraa ostensibly controlled by the regime. Al-Qurayshi’s death in a former raid that was completely unsupported by the regime and Russia underscores the regime’s poorly managed counter-terrorism strategy, which has allowed south Syria to become an emerging hub for radical activity. Indeed, it is the unsupported former opposition that has launched the most successful wave of anti-ISIS operations in Daraa province, engaging with ISIS-linked cells in Daraa city and its surrounding countryside. While security conditions remain exceedingly poor, south Syria faces its worst fuel shortage in recent memory following the regime’s slashing of fuel allotments to communities in the south. Transportation, shipping and even military operations are now exceedingly difficult due to the worsening shortages, which have brought movement in the province to a virtual halt.
Attached Map: Recent Developments in South Syria – 2nd December 2022
(For a high-resolution version of this map, please use the form at the bottom of the page)