Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

South Syria rebels agree to surrender in Daraa

South Syria rebels agree to surrender in Daraa

Under Russian-backed "reconciliation" deals, rebels hand over heavy weapons, local police take control of the area and government institutions resume operations.

Mostly women and children civilians are looking for shelter near the Jordanian border.

It caps a series of government victories nationwide since Russian Federation intervened in 2015 on Assad's side, including for the former rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus earlier this year. The Institute for the Study of War in Washington expects President Putin to seek to tempt Trump into following through on that wish - and says the Russian-Iranian coalition "is building a network of deniable proxy forces to attack the United States and its local partner - the Syrian Democratic Forces - in Eastern Syria".

Jordan has been an important mediator with regard to Syrian rebels and the Russian government.

Daraa has a symbolic significance as it was the birthplace of the Syrian war that erupted in 2011.

There was no official confirmation by Damascus or Moscow. A war monitor said that the regime now controls about 70 percent of Daraa province.

No customs or border control officers have been there yet.

Ahead of the crisis, the crossing was the busiest border crossing in Syria as it is situated on the Damascus-Amman global highway near Nasib.

By Sunday, thousands of people were reported to have left the border, which remains closed, after the government's recapture of the Nasib crossing.

Nassib is a strategic crossing for Syria and Jordan.

"There is no option for us if we see them (the regime) getting close", said Omar Abu Hamed, who fled from Russian bombing in the town of Saida, which fell to government troops on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Israel said it would not allow Syrians fleeing southern Syria to find refuge in territories under its control.

South Syrian rebels said they had agreed to lay down arms in a Russian-brokered deal that appeared to surrender Deraa province to the government in another major victory for President Bashar al-Assad and his alliance with Russia.

The deal starts with a ceasefire and the rebels in Daraa will hand over their heavy and medium weapons to the Syrian army, said SANA.

Russian and Syrian government troops have intensified shelling of the border area of Deraa after talks broke down with rebels on Wednesday evening, but Jordan is pushing for quick resumption of talks to put an end to the spiraling attacks on its neighboring areas.

The report said that the army captured the town of Um al-Mayathen, about 10 km east of the capital city of Daraa province, as well as the Air Defense Battalion in the western countryside of Daraa following battles with the militant groups.

Calm reigned over the region on Saturday as the two sides finalised the ceasefire deal, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Like this: