Assad's flag raised in birthplace of Syrian uprising

13 July, 2018, 09:45 | Author: Myra Gill
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The video shows the fierce battles fought by the Syrian army against the Islamist militants in the eastern countryside, which led to the liberation of Saida, Naima and the Air Defense Battalion.

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.

Since June 19, the Syrian army has been conducting the operation in Dara'a, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied side of Syria's Golan Heights.

Rebels quickly sought to negotiate with Assad's Russian sponsors after the U.S., which for years had backed the southern rebels, said it would not intervene militarily to protect them.

A suicide auto bombing on Tuesday killed 14 newly reconciled fighters from pro-government and rebel ranks in an attack on a south Syrian village claimed by the militant Islamic State group.

Two armoured vehicles with senior Russian officers entered the devastated old city and began talks with commanders from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on implementing the terms of the deal.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been monitoring the war, said rebels were still in the city, but on Thursday their departure appeared to be merely a matter of time.

The discussions are expected to resume on Thursday.

Syrian state media said Assad's forces hoisted their flag for the first time in years in the rebel-controlled parts of the city after a surrender deal was agreed with local rebels, which included a planned handover of weapons and the exile of opposition fighters and activists.

Latest estimates say some 2,000 militants are still holed up in Dara'a city, along with their families.

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. 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.

SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said Jaish Khaled bin Walid terrorists captured the village of Hit near the Jordanian border "after violent clashes".

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