Syrian forces make gains in Dara'a province's eastern countryside
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 24, 2018 01:22AM
Syrian government forces have liberated two villages in the Dara'a province's eastern countryside as they warm-up for a major offensive against militants holed up in the region.
According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Saturday, the the villages of al-Bustan and al-Shumariya were liberated during Syrian forces first advance in the area.
The UK-based observatory also noted an "ongoing escalation of shelling and clashes in eastern and northeastern parts of Dara'a province."
"Intense Russian air strikes are hitting towns in Dara'a's eastern countryside for the first time since the ceasefire was agreed in southern Syria last year," claimed Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Syrian forces also heavily shelled militant-held areas in the towns of Busr al-Harir and al-Hrak in the region and also carried out several airstrikes on the militants.
Syria's official news agency, SANA, confirmed the gains, noting the government forces targeted militant held area's with "precise strikes."
Last Month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that only Syrian government forces should maintain presence on the Arab country's southern parts.
The recapture of Dara'a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants for years. The territory's return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv's plans to annex the Golan Heights.
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