Syria's Former Rebel Strongholds Endure as Assad Regime Reasserts Control

Syrian rebels agreed to give up the strategic Nassib border crossing under the terms of a truce deal

State television reported on Thursday that the Syrian military had managed to enter the militant-held part of Dara'a and hoist the flag near the city's post office.

The victory over rebels in the cradle of the uprising, and the reclaiming of the entire city for the first time in seven years, is a powerful symbol heralding the military defeat of a rebellion that aimed to unseat the Assad dynasty but was waylaid by violent government repression, the rise of Islamist extremists, the unwavering support of the regime's allies Russian Federation and Iran and the dithering of western powers.

With control over Daraa, government forces can now focus on clearing the last pockets of the opposition and, separately, the Islamic State group from the frontier at the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in a 1967 war.

Protests in Daraa in 2011 against the government's mistreatment of teenage detainees ignited a national revolt against decades of authoritarian rule.

A rebel official told Reuters negotiations were proceeding smoothly, with the Russians so far abiding by the terms of the deal, under which rebels would hand over weapons, and fighters who do not wish to live under state rule would be evacuated.

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.

Much of the southern province of Daraa had been quiet since Friday, when a ceasefire deal between rebels and the Russian-backed regime ended a almost three-week regime assault.

Why President Trump Just Lost Over 100,000 Twitter Followers
Twitter announced it was cracking down on locked accounts to "improve the health" of conversation on the platform. Trump's institutional account " POTUS " gained 8,339 followers on Thursday and lost 90,386 followers on Friday.

It was the birthplace of the uprising against Bashar al-Assad.

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.

Some 2,000 rebel fighters are holed up in the opposition-held part of Daraa city, along with their families.

"After violent clashes, Jaish Khaled bin Walid took control of Heet despite Russian and regime air strikes against them", Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The reconciliation deal for Daraa city is the latest in a string of such agreements that have seen the regime retake large parts of the country since 2015.

Previous such deals have seen thousands of rebels bused up to areas still under opposition control in the north of the country.

Related News:



Most liked

Death toll in ISIS-claimed Pakistan blast jumps to 128
The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that left 128 people dead, police officials said. Another 45 people were hurt in the attack in Mastung , a town in southwest Baluchistan province.

Celebrities Are Losing Millions of Followers as Twitter Slashes Fake Accounts
Still, the former president remains the third most-followed person on the platform behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber . YouTube's official Twitter handle witnessed a 2.8 percent dip and now has 70.39 million followers.

President Trump Sits in Winston Churchill's Chair
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at Windsor Castle and meet Queen Elizabeth II Friday afternoon. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?' he said to The Sun .

Anderson topples marathon man Isner in longest ever Wimbledon semi-final
Anderson may not be the most mobile, but he does cover the court better than Isner and his backhand is generally rock solid. After taking a medical timeout after the third set, Anderson surprisingly broke Isner's serve at 2-all in the fourth.

Trump visit to United Kingdom begins on awkward note
They gathered under a big "baby Trump" blimp , showing him snarling and holding a mobile phone, dressed in only a nappy. It comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan repeatedly called for the president's visit to the country to be canceled.

Ontario woman accidentally steals car from Walmart parking lot
The woman then proceeded to drive the vehicle around for a full two weeks, using the Infiniti for her regular activities. MacRae says the owner of the Infiniti had left his key fob in the vehicle, and left the doors unlocked.

Iran coordinates military presence in Syria with Russia: Iranian official
An Iranian delegation led by Ali Akbar Velayati met Putin in the Russian capital on July 12, the Kremlin said. Both countries emphasized continuation of Astana talks between Iran, Russia and Turkey, he said.

Canada to head new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Iraq
During his visit, Trudeau will meet with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and President Raimonds Vejonis. With all, Trump believes the U.S.is getting "ripped off" in an unfair marketplace.

Liverpool have announced the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City
At the World Cup, Shaqiri scored a 90th-minute victor to give Switzerland a 2-1 victory over Serbia in the group stage last month. Sources told ESPN FC that Shaqiri had his heart set on move to Liverpool , for whom he had been a target since 2014.

Thai 'Wild Boars' return to training after teammates' rescue
Back in London Friday morning, British divers involved in the rescue said nothing like this has ever been done before. The trapped group in Thailand have now all been rescued from the cave, and are now recuperating in hospital.

How much do we really spend?
President Donald Trump's displeasure with the U.S.'s military allies over their relatively low defense spending is no secret. Trump will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II before heading to Scotland on the four-day visit.

Antoine Griezmann hits back at Thibaut Courtois criticism
France will face surprise package Croatia in the final of the World Cup , which takes place at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. France forward Antoine Griezmann has hit back at Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois's criticism of his team's style of play.

Sen. Baldwin won’t back Trump’s pick for Supreme Court
Once that is done and Kavanaugh has completed a questionnaire from the Judiciary Committee, formal hearings can begin. Four states - North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Louisiana - would automatically ban abortions .

‘Downton Abbey’ Movie With Original Cast Finally Gets Greenlight
During the course of six series, it became the most nominated non-American TV show in the history of the Emmy Awards . The movie will be produced by Carnival films and distributed by Focus Features and Universal Pictures International.

Novak Djokovic into tenth Wimbledon quarter-final, to take on Kei Nishikori
His record of 34 straight Wimbledon wins when up 2-0 was snapped in the third set, and Federer fell shortly after. In his first Wimbledon semifinal, Anderson will face 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic or ninth-seeded John Isner.