An outbreak of deadly clashes between an ISIS-linked armed group and the regime’s 4th Division has left nearly two dozen regime soldiers dead in rural western Daraa, prompting a series of aggressive regime deployments to the surrounding area as regime officials threaten to launch a retributive operation. Members of the Muhammad Qassim a-Sbeehi group ambushed regime forces in Muzayrib, with local figures in the area now working to convince a-Sbeehi and other ISIS-linked figures to depart south Syria in order to avoid the regime’s collective punishment. The regime frequently uses ISIS remnants to justify its aggressive policies in south Syria. As the security situation worsens, living conditions for Syrians in the south continue to deteriorate: many communities are without flour to produce bread, and the freefall of the Syrian pound has pushed most markets and businesses to close. Meanwhile, the region is facing its most concerning spike in coronavirus cases in months, with more than 3,000 infected in a one-week period.
Attached Map: Recent Developments in South Syria – 23rd March 2020