Syria's Assad set to recover Golan frontier as surrender deal agreed

by Garry Watts July 21, 2018, 0:30
Syria's Assad set to recover Golan frontier as surrender deal agreed

Other sections of the document also refer to the return of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) to their former points in Quneitra province and the establishment of a committee to monitor the issue of detainees.

In Daraa, the evacuation deal will hand over areas held by the rebels for years back to government control.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria's civil war through a network of activists on the ground, put the death toll from the airstrike at 14, including four women and five children.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said on Thursday there are reports that rebels had agreed a surrender deal in the southwestern province of al-Quneitra at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. After years of ruinous civil war, Iran and its proxy militias, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, have built up a formidable presence stretching from the Iraqi border through central Syria to Lebanon", and that "President Bashar Assad, with military and political assistance from Iran and Russian Federation, has recaptured 60 percent of the country, putting an end to any serious talk of regime change.

A picture taken on July 17, 2018 from the Israeli-annexed Syrian Golan Heights shows refugees coming to fence border between Syria and Israel by a camp for displaced Syrians near the Syrian village of Burayqah in the southern province of Quneitra.

Besieged for three years by rebels and HTS, the Shiite-majority towns had become a rallying cry for the government and Iran, another key regime ally.

The Syrian military has so far liberated more than 90 percent of Dara'a Province from the grip of Takfiri elements. Insurgents affiliated with the Islamic State group also hold a sliver of territory on the southern tip of the region.

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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.

It even brokered a deal this week to evacuate thousands of besieged people from a pair of pro-regime towns in northwest Syria. The evacuees' first stop is the government-controlled city of Aleppo.

Quneitra is a thin, crescent-shaped province wedged between Daraa to the east and the buffer zone with the Israeli-occupied Golan to the west. Dozens of buses arrived in the Foua and Kfraya villages to transport the evacuees on Wednesday, Syrian state media said. "Russian Federation wants this to happen".

Speaking at the same border visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "the Israeli military is prepared for any scenario".

The regime has heavily bombed HTS-held territories since Sunday, leaving 48 jihadists and rebels dead as opposition attacks have killed at least 43 regime fighters, according to the Observatory.

Israel says it has no interest is engaging in another war with Hamas, but says it will no longer tolerate the Gaza militant campaign of flying incendiary kites and balloons across the border that have ignited fires damaging Israeli farms and nature reserves.

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