Rebel attack in northwest Syria triggers government response

Rebel attack in northwest Syria triggers government response

Measures to implement the so-called reconciliation deal for rebel-held parts of the city had not yet been implemented, it said.

Daraa city on Thursday to raise the national flag over an area held by rebels for years, witnesses said, leaving President Bashar al-Assad poised for another big victory in the seven-year-long Syrian conflict.

Government forces backed by Russian Federation have recovered huge areas of Daraa province at the border with Jordan in a major offensive that got underway last month and has forced many rebels to give up territory in negotiated surrender deals.

It marks another milestone in Assad's efforts to recover control of Syria, where civil war is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven some 11 million people from their homes. Anti-Assad rebels still control a chunk of the northwest, and the northeast and a large chunk of the east are controlled by Kurdish-led groups.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime has retaken more than 60 percent of the country since 2015, when Russian Federation intervened militarily to bolster it.

"There is a guarantee by the Russians that the army will not enter Daraa al-Balad", said Abu Bayan, a leader of a rebel faction in the city, referring to the name of the area.


Dara'a's return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported collaboration between anti-Damascus militants and Israel which has beefed up its military presence in the Golan Heights in recent days. "By this win, the government reclaimed the control of its border with Jordan and the border crossing to start global trade", she said.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in the western countryside of Deraa province, Syria on Tuesday.

Heavily outgunned, rebels in parts of Deraa province reached an agreement to surrender territory last week.

Rebels quickly sought to negotiate with Assad's Russian sponsors after the USA, which for years had backed the southern rebels, said it would not intervene militarily to protect them.

"There have not been any losses of Russian servicemen in the Deraa province or in the Syrian Arab Republic in general", the defense department said.

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