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Syria: Deraa, birthplace of uprising, retaken by government forces

Syria: Deraa, birthplace of uprising, retaken by government forces

The Syrian government forces have re-taken city of Deraa that was a cradle of the 2014 uprising in 2011, BBC reported. The fighting comes after the Assad’s government recaptured most of the surrounding province of Deraa from IS-affiliated cell, the Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army, factions.

Deraa was the city where the first mass protests against President Assad’s rule erupted in 2011. Today, that cell of the rebel forces was taken by the governmental forces. So-called Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army has controlled the south-western corner of Deraa province since 2014 when jihadists proclaimed the establishment of a “caliphate”. According to the local media, Russian forces are reportedly attacking the least enclave held by the jihadists in south-western Syria.

IS was not covered by last week’s ceasefire deal and on Wednesday its positions in the Yarmouk Basin was subjected to air strikes and artillery fire.

Aircraft were bombing the Yarmouk Basin area, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and the militants have been counter-attacked, targeting nearby villages. Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army commanders agreed last Friday to surrender their heavy weapons and begin handing over towns as part of a Russian-brokered agreement.

In return, the Russian troops are believed to have guaranteed the safe return more of the 300,000 civilians who fled their homes after the government’s offensive began on 19 June, as well as the evacuation to rebel-held parts of north-western Syria for people who wish to leave.