Opposition commander ambushed by unknown in Quneitra

Quneitra - On June 28th, an opposition commander named Abu Ahmed Qita was ambushed in Quneitra province, near the village of Ruwayhinah. A unknown group of armed assailants ambushed him while he was driving his car, traveling with two accomplices. The gunmen killed both accomplices, and left commander Abu Ahmed Qita seriously injured.

Location of Ruwayhinah village in Quneitra province. Via wikimapia.org

Location of Ruwayhinah village in Quneitra province. Via wikimapia.org

Although the assailants were unknown, there are several possible culprits. Firstly, heavy clashes are occurring daily between the Syrian government forces and its allies and various opposition forces in Quneitra province near the government-held town Madinat al-Baath. These clashes errupted after the opposition forces launched a offensive there on the 24th of June 2017. It is possible that government agents or hired gunmen carried out the assassination attempt, something that is very common in southern Syria.

The local ISIS affiliate, the Jaish Khalid Ibn al-Walid army, is often accused of carrying out various IED and assassination attacks on the opposition forces which are fighting them in the Yarmouk basin, an area largely controlled by ISIS. It is possible that this group had one of their many sleeper cells located in opposition areas carry out this assassination attempt.

It is unknown which group the assaulted commander belongs to, as there are several groups operating in this area and village. One possible target is Liwa Fursan al-Jawlan, aka the Golan Heights brigade, a small opposition group active in southern Syria.