Terrorists Surrender to Syrian Army in Southern Province

Daraa was one of the last remaining rebel strongholds in Syria.

A string of towns and villages in Deraa province have accepted surrender deals, opposition sources in touch with rebel negotiators said, leaving only two main towns under rebel control.

"Negotiations were ongoing Wednesday towards Nawa joining the reconciliation deal" with the regime for the wider province, observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

A string of towns - Al-Hara, Samlin, and Zimrin - had agreed to fall back into regime control, while troops overran Al-Tiha militarily.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces fired more than 800 missiles at an area between northern Daraa and the Quneitra countryside, about 4 kilometers, or 2.5 miles, from the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Both deals, negotiated by regime ally Russian Federation, will be seen as victories for President Bashar al-Assad over the seven-year uprising that once threatened his rule.

An affiliate of the Islamic State group continues to hold a sliver of the frontier.

The shelling also targeted various rebel-held villages in Quneitra province located only a few kilometres from the Israel border where tens of thousands of people had taken shelter from the offensive.

They came back after reports that rebels had reached a surrender deal with the Russian military that would spare the city bombardment, another resident said. The country's majority Sunni population has been pushed out of the cities and, disproportionately, into camps and exile, while minorities have moved closer to the centers of government control.

Quneitra lies directly west of Daraa and is bordered on the other side by the highly sensitive buffer zone with the Israeli-occupied Golan.

The report by the Hezbollah-run military news outlet said the agreement stipulated "the return of the Syrian army, represented in the 90th and the 61st brigades, to the positions that it was in before 2011".

Government forces have made a modest ground advance there, the Observatory and state media both said.

Multiple parties including Egypt also told Hamas that the kites must be stopped "to prevent giving Israel an excuse to launch a major military offensive".

Congressional officials and other supporters argue that USA recognition of Israeli control of the Golan Heights could thwart Russian Federation and Iran's growing influence in Syria and also send a powerful message that the United States sides with the Jewish state's security interests as regional tensions grow. Fighter Abdullah Masalmah, who had chosen to leave and was about to board the bus, said: "I can not forget the thousands of those who were killed by the regime let alone the orphans, wounded and the detainees".

Speakers at the sit-in said that Gaza's hospitals suffer from shortages in medicines, lab equipment and testing materials due to the Palestinian Authority (PA) sanctions and Israel's siege of the strip. Israel did not issue any comments on the incident.

  • Joey Payne