Apocalyptic scenes of strategic town in southern Syria retaken from jihadists (VIDEO) January 27, 2016 War Reports 1499 Source: RT The town of Sheikh Maskin in Syria’s Daraa province ‒ which has turned into a gray, concrete desolation after fierce fighting ‒ can be seen on video footage filmed after Syrian government forces liberated the strategic southern town from jihadists. The Syrian army has established full control over Sheikh Maskin, which was previously held by Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists. The settlement, which is called the “crossroads of the south” and located in the northern part of the Daraa province, now lies in ruins with almost no buildings left undamaged. “Our armed forces succeeded in liberating the town of Sheikh Maskin completely by following a well thought-out and researched strategy. We conducted the main attack from the north with a simultaneous attack from Garfa. Those two groups came from both sides and cornered the militants, and thus could recapture the town completely,” the commander of the fifth division of the Syrian Army said. The recapturing of the town dealt “a major blow to the terrorist organizations and their supporters,” as well as greatly contributed to restoring security and stability to the region, the Syrian General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said in a statement, as quoted by SANA News. The seizure of Sheikh Maskin also became a “springboard for further combat operations,” as the town located in the area surrounding the international highway between Damascus and Daraa links different parts of the province, according to the statement. The operation was backed up by the Syrian and Russian air forces, the statement added. Syrian army engineers are now clearing the town of mines and booby traps left by the terrorists “almost in every house and in most unusual places.” The town was earlier a stronghold of extremists with hundreds of militants from the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, fighting Syrian government forces for control over the settlement.