Daraa Map: Syrian Army liberates strategic hilltop overlooking occupied Golan Heights

Smoke following an explosion in Syria is seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the Israeli Syrian border

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Quneitra province borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israel has threatened a harsh response to any attempt by Syrian forces to deploy in the disengagement zone, complicating the government offensive as it draws closer to the frontier.

Israel signaled it would not impede the Syrian army offensive in Quenitra as long as it steered away from the demilitarized zone, even as it struck Syrian army posts near the frontier and elsewhere in Syria where it suspects Iranian backed forces are stationed. Still, the two countries have been trying to negotiate a deal on a pullback of Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria from the frontier and the deployment of troops loyal to the government in Damascus in their place.

Israel does not want its enemies Iran and Hezbollah, both allies of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who are well entrenched in that area, to move forces near its border.

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They included rebels from the broader province, said Abdel Rahman.

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Fire from fighting is seen from Quneitra, Syria July 15, 2018.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 350,000 people since March 2011, although the United Nations has long stopped keeping count of casualties in the seven-year conflict.

He also said that Syrian rebels and their relatives began evacuating Deraa on Sunday.

Russia, one of the other countries that signed onto the Iran nuclear deal, remains in the pact.

According to the SOHR, pro-Damascus forces are now holding more than 80 percent of Dara'a province.

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".

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The latest assault began as Hossein Jaberi Ansari, an...

The Syrian government refers to all groups opposed to its rule as terrorists.

The offensive had displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Sixteen trucks carrying 3,000 food parcels reached the towns of Nassib and Um Al Mayathen in Deraa province near a border crossing with Jordan, the Red Crescent said in a statement.

The regions of Deraa and Quneitra had always been considered areas of strategic importance where Israel hoped to limit the advance of Assad-aligned Iranian militias. "Water, health and education are top needs of the population we are urgently responding to", al-Za'tari said.

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