Israel Warns Syria Against Golan Deployment, Boosts Refugee Aid

07 July, 2018, 10:12 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Smoke rises in Deraa area Syria in this handout released

According to rebels, Moscow had previously rejected their demands for a phased surrender of their heavy-duty arms and safe passage for rebels and civilians who did not want to live under government rule to opposition territory elsewhere.

Assad's next target in the southwest appears to be rebel-held areas of Quneitra province at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where fighting between insurgents and the government escalated on Friday.

The Israeli minister cited previous examples of Israeli airstrikes carried out against Syrian facilities deemed to have been used in attacks on Israel by Iranian forces in Syria.

Ibrahim Jabawi, spokesman for the rebels' joint operations room, said they had reached an agreement with the Russians in which insurgents would begin to hand over some of their heavy weapons in return for a government pullout from several villages.

He also said rebels had agreed on a phased handover of their weapons and the deployment of Russian military police in the area near the Jordanian border as part of the deal.

A commander in the regional alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad had earlier said government forces were advancing through rebel territory along Syria's frontier with Jordan and would soon reach the countries' main border crossing.

"The Nassib crossing will come under a Syrian civil administration, with Russian supervision", said Abazeed.

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"The Russian deal is similar to the others in areas of Aleppo or Ghouta".

The mortar fire, which struck near Israel's security fence, was "part of the internal fighting between the government and the rebels in Syria", it said, without giving details on the retaliation.

Syrian civilians pose for a photograph as Syrian government forces recently recaptured the village of Ghariyah ash Sharqiyah from militants, in the province of Dara'a, on July 4, 2018.

Friday's reported takeover comes after rebels announced reaching a deal with Russian Federation, an ally of the Syrian government, aimed at ending a devastating government campaign in the province of Daraa in southern Syria.

"In the largest wave of displacement to hit southern Syria since the start of the seven-year-long war, an estimated 180,000 children have been forced to flee their homes with little resource for protection, shelter or assistance", UNICEF said.

On Thursday, the Israeli cabinet expressed concern over the ongoing Russia-led offensive in Southern Syria, saying Syrian government forces could enter the demilitarized Golan Heights.

The Observatory said Syrian troops were now about three kilometers (2 miles) from the Naseeb border crossing.

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