Intense battles raged on Tuesday between the Syrian army and the rebels in the southern province of Daraa, amid information that the rebels received large reinforcement through the Jordanian borders.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian air force carried out 40 airstrikes on Tuesday against the rebels, who are attempting to storm and control the Manshiyeh area, whose capture by the rebels threatens the downfall of the city to the rebels.

The London-based watchdog group said 16 Syrian soldiers and officers were killed a day earlier during the battles in Daraa, adding that among the rebels group is the Front for Liberating the Levant, previously known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, a military source told Xinhua that the battles flared in Daraa after the rebels received a huge logistical support through the Jordanian borders, including heavy weapons and vehicles.

Hundreds of rebel fighters, as well as tanks and vehicles reached the rebels in Daraa, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The rebels have recently upped their offensives in Daraa to capture Manshiyeh neighborhood, which includes three hilltops overlooking most of the neighborhoods in Daraa.

It’s feared that if the Manshiyeh fell to the rebels, the entire city of Daraa will fall as well.

Abdul-Aziz Farez, a political expert, said that Jordan supports the rebels in Daraa for two main points: the first is water, as Daraa contain two water sources.

The second, he added, is the geographic size and location near the Jordanian borders, which will enable Jordan, with the help of the rebels, to make Daraa as a buffer zone. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh