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Assad army enters several villages around Daraa

Syrian regime forces entered several villages to the west of the southern city of Daraa on Thursday, bringing the country's southern region under government control.

The latest move comes two weeks after the capture of the rebel-held part of Daraa marking another victory for Bashar Assad, whose forces now control much of the country 10 years after Syria's civil war began.

Until recently, the city was held by opposition gunmen.

Syrian state TV reported that regime forces entered the villages Yadoudeh, Mzeirib and Tel Chehab and showed army vehicles.

Daraa province, which straddles the borders with Jordan and Israel, became known as the cradle of the uprising against Assad that erupted during March 2011 as part of the Arab Spring revolts, and eventually led to war.

A Russian-negotiated cease-fire was designed to end the violence that erupted this summer between government forces and opposition fighters and included a siege on the city that had threatened to undo years of relative calm along the borders with Israel and Jordan.

The deal included that some opposition fighters leave the area while others stay and hand over their weapons in return for amnesty.

Daraa was recaptured by Syrian regime troops in 2018 but rebels remained in some parts.

Assad has since regained control of most of Syria with the help of Russia and Iran.

AP

 

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