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Published on 09 Sep 2015 | about 1 year ago

Daraa is where Syria's revolution began four years ago. Now it's the scene of a forgotten war, in which largely secular Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels — marginalized elsewhere in Syria — continue to lead the struggle against Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The FSA are fighting a bitterly hard battle under a virtual media blackout to change the course of Syria's civil war. If they can take Daraa, they will stand at the beginning of the road to Damascus, the seat of Assad's government.

VICE News follows the Fallujah Horan brigade of the FSA and their charismatic commander Abu Hadi Aboud as they fight to push the regime out of Daraa's eastern suburbs.

In part one of a two-part series, Abu Hadi shows VICE News how his men take the fight to the regime on the frontlines east of Daraa, and we also meet the volunteers trying to save locals from the barrel bombs that rain down daily on the city.

Watch "Pushing Back the Islamic State: The Battle for Rojava (Dispatch 1)" - bit.ly/1TjDm3U

Read "Russia Says Syria's Assad Is Ready to Share Power with Opposition" - bit.ly/1Fw80v7

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