After Securing Daraa, Syrian Forces Moving Towards Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights

Published July 17th, 2018 - 07:24 GMT
Syrian regime forces, in control of southern city of Daraa, are moving towards the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (AFP/ File Photo)
Syrian regime forces, in control of southern city of Daraa, are moving towards the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. (AFP/ File Photo)

Syrian regime forces on Monday announced the capture of the southern city of Daraa before advancing westward towards the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights region.

The regime now controls Daraa and its eastern outskirts, while its forces have been deployed along most of Syria’s border with Jordan, in line with an earlier agreement between Russia and Syrian armed opposition groups.

Opposition sources told Anadolu Agency on Monday that regime forces had entered the city of Hara, located roughly 20 kilometers from the border, after fierce fighting with opposition forces.

According to the same sources, regime forces on Sunday attacked the town of Mashara in Syria’s eastern Quneitra province, which is situated close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Opposition forces, the sources said, launched a counterattack shortly afterward, recovering several positions and inflicting casualties on regime forces.

Since then, regime warplanes have reportedly struck several targets in Quneitra, marking the first time in four years for the province’s eastern countryside to be subjected to airstrikes. 

- ‘No problem’

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there was “no problem” between his country and the Bashar al-Assad regime.

He went on, however, to reiterate demands that Iranian forces leave Syria, where they have been fighting alongside the Assad regime and Lebanese Hezbollah group.

“We have no problem with the Assad regime,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying. “For 40 years, not a single shot has been fired from the [Syrian] Golan Heights.”

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

Following peace talks held last year in Astana, Daraa and Quneitra were both designated as “de-escalation zones” in which acts of aggression are prohibited.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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