The Syrian flag flies over Deraa
Mohamad Abazeed/AFP/Getty Images Alt Text
Rebels in the southern city have surrendered in a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad
Friday, July 13, 2018 – 6:29am
Syrian government forces have recaptured the southern city of Deraa, the cradle of the revolution, in a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad.
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Rebel forces have agreed to surrender and the national flag has been raised above the city’s ruins, Syrian state television announced yesterday.
Sources in Deraa told Reuters that a Russian military delegation had also entered the city yesterday and begun negotiations for its handover to state rule.
The city has both “strategic and symbolic importance” to the government and rebels, the BBC reports.
It is a provincial capital – close to the main crossings on the Jordanian border – and is also where the Syrian uprising against Assad’s regime began in March 2011, the broadcaster says.
Inspired by the so-called Arab Spring uprisings in neighbouring countries, thousands of Syrians took to the streets seven years ago to demand democratic reform and the release of political prisoners. Demonstrations were met with deadly force by the authorities and the unrest quickly spread.
The victory marks another milestone in Assad’s efforts to retake control of the country, Al Jazeera reports.
“With critical help from Russia and Iran, Assad has now recovered most of Syria,” the broadcaster says.
However, Anti-Assad rebels still control much of the northwest and the northeast, and a large chunk of the east is controlled by Kurdish-led groups, it adds.
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Source:: The Week – All news