Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

Syria regime pounds south, rebel evacuations postponed

  • Print


Smoke rises above rebel-held areas of the city of Daraa during reported airstrikes by Syrian regime forces on Sunday.

AFP, Beirut :
Regime forces bombarded southern Syria on Sunday, as the evacuation of rebel fighters under a ceasefire deal for the region was postponed, a monitor and an opposition official said.
Opposition fighters in the southern province of Daraa announced a ceasefire deal late Friday with regime ally Russia to end more than two weeks of deadly regime bombardment.
Under that deal, rebels who wished to do so were to leave areas in the strategic southern province to be retaken by President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
But on Sunday morning, regime air strikes killed four civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Syrian warplanes pounded Um al-Mayazeen just five kilometres (three miles) north of the Jordanian border, killing three civilians, said the Britain-based monitor.
"Regime forces launched an assault on the village," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, two days after they retook control of the key border crossing of Nassib to the south.
Earlier, rebel fire on a regime convoy on the highway near Um al-Mayazeen had killed several soldiers, Abdel Rahman said, without providing a toll.
A regime air strike on the rebel-held half of the provincial capital of Daraa also killed one civilian, he said.
A rebel official said the evacuation of opposition fighters and their families to rebel-held areas in northern Syria was temporarily put on hold.
"A hundred buses were supposed to arrive but (the operation) has been postponed to a later date, in around two days," the official said. "There was an exchange of fire between both sides and the first (wave) has been postponed."
The regime bombardment campaign on rebel-held areas in Daraa since June 19 had killed more than 160 civilians and displaced tens of thousands of people.
Many had fled the violence south towards the closed border with Jordan, setting up makeshift tents for shelter in the arid fields along the frontier. After the deal announcement on Friday, thousands headed home towards their towns and villages, according to the Observatory.
Since Russia intervened by Assad's side in Syria's conflict in 2015, the Damascus regime has notched up a series of victories against rebels and jihadists in the country.
Regime forces, who secured the capital Damascus earlier this year, now control more than 60 percent of the country, the Observatory says.
Syria's war has killed 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests in 2011.

More News For this Category

News In Brief

Pak Provincial Assembly Speaker arrested AP, Islamabad  Pakistan's anti-corruption body says it has arrested the speaker of a provincial assembly and member of an opposition party headed by former President

Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis: Congressional report

AP, Washington :Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Palestinian President rejects tax money from Israel

Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

Putin promises Russians better living conditions 'within this year'

AFP, Moscow  :President Vladimir Putin promised Russians rapid improvements in their living conditions as he delivered his annual state of the nation address Wednesday under pressure from falling approval

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Pakistan PM urges talks on Kashmir blast, warns India against attack

Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

Japan trial to treat spinal cord injuries with stem cells

AFP, Tokyo :The health ministry approved Monday the world's first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries.A team

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

IS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

AFP, Baghouz (Syria) :Islamic State group jihadists were defending the last pocket of their "caliphate" in Syria on Monday, as EU foreign ministers meet to discuss the crisis after

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

Australia says 'state actor' hacked parties, parliament

AFP, Sydney :Australia on Monday said a "sophisticated state actor" had hacked the country's main political parties and parliament, just weeks before a closely fought election.Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children'

AFP, Moscow :As the end nears for the IS enclave in Syria and the fate of jihadists' family members becomes a prescient issue, Russia can be seen as a

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

`Crime may have been committed` by Trump: Ex-FBI official

AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head