Syrian Rebel City of Nawa Surrenders After Intense Airstrikes

Syrian official news agency SANA a convoy of buses carrying opposition fighters and their families leave the southern province of Daraa Syria Sunday July 15

Syrian Rebel City of Nawa Surrenders After Intense Airstrikes

The government has stepped up its military offensive on the remaining opposition pockets in the southwestern region, which includes the Daraa and Quneitra provinces that straddle the border with Jordan and the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

According to the Agency, Syrian rebels still hold a narrow section, separating the province of Dar al-Quneitra, despite the grip of government forces with the support of Russian Federation the most part of Dar.

It said 430 people including civilians and rebels from the city and wider province were evacuated, far fewer than the 1,400 expected to leave.

Since the beginning of the year, Israeli and Iranian forces have come close to a full-scale conflict over Iranian provocations along the Israeli-Syrian border and even into Israeli territory itself. On Sunday, the first batch of armed fighters and their families left the city of Daraa, the provincial capital, in buses that would take them to the rebel-held Idlib province in the north.

Almost 7,000 residents from two villages are being evacuated in Syria.

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They said that 210,000 people had been displaced by the fighting and 160,000 Syrians were seeking safety near Quneitra where they had little access to health facilities.

Daraa governor Mohamad al-Hanous says government forces are in control of 80 percent of the city, according to the government-linked Central Military Media outlet. The strike, which was not officially acknowledged by Tel Aviv, killed several Syrian soldiers and Iranian advisers at the compound, and it also damaged the airfield's facilities.

IDF soldiers look on toward people standing next to the Israel-Syria border fence in the Golan Heights, July 17, 2018.

The Assad regime now controls 61 per cent of the country's territory, according to the Observatory. Government fighters waved rifles and held aloft pictures of Assad as they celebrated on camera from the location, al-Haara hill.

"We now are working on the logistical arrangements", said an Islamist rebel source familiar with the secret negotiations that Turkey was also involved in.

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"Truly countering the IRGC, let along removing it from Syria entirely, would require the total dismantlement of the system itself, or at least going on the offensive, reducing the Syrian government area of control", he writes.

Tensions again threatened to boil over in May, when Israel carried out its largest airstrikes in Syria in decades against Iranian infrastructure in the country.

Russian Federation is supporting Assad's forces in its military campaigns around Syria. Rebels said it amounts to forced displacement of Assad's opponents from main urban centres in western Syria and engenders demographic change because most of Syria's population, are Sunni.

Khaled Solh, head of the local Syrian civil defence known as White Helmets, said only one ambulance was able to access the town and civilians relied on their cars to bring out at least 150 injured.

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