Israel strikes Syria at Golan frontier

Howard TerryJul 07, 2018

Rebel sources said the deal brokered by Russian Federation would allow civilians to return to their villages and towns with Moscow guaranteeing their protection.

Syrian government forces launched a wide offensive on June 19 to retake Daraa and the nearby Quneitra region that borders the Israeli Golan Heights.

Militants in southern Syria say they are returning to talks with Russian Federation, an ally of the Damascus government, after a one-day pause in negotiations.

Smoke rises above rebel-held areas of the city of Daraa during reported airstrikes by Syrian regime forces on July 5, 2018.

Syrian rebels reached a deal with Russian officers on a phased handover of their weapons and the deployment of Russian military police near the Jordanian border, a rebel spokesman said on Friday afternoon.

South Syrian rebels said they had agreed on Friday to lay down arms in a Russian-brokered deal that appeared to surrender Daraa province to the government in another major victory for President Bashar al-Assad.

Government forces would then take control of a key route running along the border with Jordan, up to the Nassib border crossing.

A commander in a regional military alliance that backs Assad said an Israeli air strike had hit a Syrian village in Quneitra on Friday, causing no casualties.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the global community.

It says the fighting has uprooted more than 320,000 people, with 60,000 gathered at the Jordan border crossing and thousands more at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan heights.

The UN refugee agency has urged Jordan to open its borders to Syrians fleeing their homes.

Earlier, the Israeli army announced in a statement that an errant projectile had landed adjacent to and east of the fence between occupied Palestinian territories and Syria, noting that the round was a result of fighting between Syrian army forces and militant groups in the area.

The bombing barrage sent an estimated 320,000 civilians fleeing the area in what appeared to be one of the fastest displacements in Syria's seven-year civil war, prompting an global outcry and meetings at the United Nations.

On Thursday, regime forces made sweeping advances on the border with Jordan, seizing their first security post there in more than three years, the Britain-based Observatory said.

He said Syrian and Russian jets had pummeled towns across the south-west and villages near the border crossing in the past few weeks.

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