Published: Fri, July 13, 2018

Syrian army hoists national flag in Dara'a city

Syrian army hoists national flag in Dara'a city

The Syrian Army keep advancing on the opposition-held areas of Daraa province, gaining more ground, defeating the rebel groups.

Dara'a city was the birthplace of the sedition that began in March 2011 before morphing into a foreign-backed militancy that continues to this day.

But Jaish Khaled bin Walid, a local IS branch that controls a small corner in the southwest of the province, on the border with Jordan and close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is not included in that deal.

A senior Russian military delegation entered the rebel-held area of the city on Thursday and began negotiations over its handover to state rule, rebel officials and a witness said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the government bombardment targeted half a dozen rebel-held villages in the northwestern Idlib province, killing at least five civilians.

"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.

The discussions are expected to resume on Thursday.

Two armored vehicles with senior Russian officers entered the al- Shayah area and began talks with commanders from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) on implementing the terms of the surrender deal.

Syrian rebels in Daraa, the southern city, say their districts are being besieged by the Syrian military, and that they believe the fall of the city outright is imminent.

In retaliation, the government and its ally Russian Federation pounded rebel-held areas in the coastal province of Latakia and neighbouring Idlib on Tuesday, killing four civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

An Islamic State group affiliate seized a village in southern Syria overnight from rebels who had agreed to a regime takeover, a Britain-based war monitor said on Thursday. After troops raised the flag over the town of Tafas, north of Daraa city, residents tore it down along with photos of Assad, the organization said.

"Eight regime and opposition fighters who recently reconciled were killed in a suicide auto bomb attack targeting a military position in Zaizun", said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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