Syrian Rebel City of Nawa Surrenders After Intense Airstrikes


"Bombardments have also hit areas in [neighbouring] Deraa province".

Khaled Solh, head of the local Syrian civil defence known as White Helmets, said only one ambulance was able to access the town and civilians relied on their cars to bring out at least 150 injured.

"Buses began moving from the gathering point towards the edge of the city to be searched", said Mr Abdel Rahman.

"Sometimes conflicts arise, and we are naturally concerned about the possibility of military confrontation between the Iranian and Israeli forces in Syria". That would pave the way for the entire city to come under government control in accordance with the handover deal.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran, or its Shiite proxies, to establish a permanent presence in postwar Syria that could threaten the Jewish state.

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Damascus calls them reconciliation deals.

Iran, which backs Assad against the mainly Sunni insurgents and has expanded its military role in Syria, has long taken an interest in the fate of its co-religionists in the two towns.

The convoy was accompanied by a delegation including the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Syria Ali Al Zaatari and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Pro-Syrian government forces launched a massive air and ground assault against rebel-held territory in Daraa province in mid-June.

The government is now in control of more than four-fifth of that province's territory, the monitor said.

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Due to the offensive and the Shiite forces creeping steadily to the border, the IDF reinforced the Golan Division with additional armor and artillery ready to protect Israel's border "until the last millimeter".

Rebels said Russian and Syrian jets intensively bombed a string of rebel-held towns in Quneitra to force them to surrender in a strategy that offers rebels the choice of either evacuating to opposition-held areas or being recruited into state-run militias. Netanyahu "greatly appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russian Federation and expressed the clear position President Putin on the need to maintain the separation agreements between Israel and Syria in 1974", the statement also read.

Mr Abdel Rahman said that unlike in Deraa, fighter planes had not been used in the Quneitra offensive and that Russian Federation was not yet taking part. "To prevent the escalation of the conflict", he was quoted as saying.

The bombings are very close to the Syrian side of the demilitarized zone set up along the Israeli border after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced by Syria's war since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

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