Rebels to abandon weapons inside Syria's Daraa city

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-12 06:29:36|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAMASCUS, July 11 (Xinhua) -- The rebels in the Daraa al-Balad area in the capital city of the southern province of Daraa on Wednesday agreed to hand over their weapons to the Syrian army, state news agency SANA reported.

The rebels have agreed to surrender their medium and heavy weapons to the army and either embark on a reconciliation process to remain in Daraa or evacuate toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

Daraa al-Balad area is in the southern part of the capital city of Daraa, from which the Syrian war started.

The deal in Daraa al-Balad is the latest in a string of deals struck between the Russian side, which is representing the government, and various rebel groups in Daraa during the Syrian military campaign that has been ongoing in Daraa since June 19.

The deal on Wednesday comes a day after rebels in four towns in the northwestern countryside of Daraa accepted a similar deal.

Earlier on Wednesday, the army entered the town of Tafas in the western countryside of Daraa after the rebels agreed on a reconciliation process with the government forces.

Also Wednesday, the army advanced in the western countryside of Daraa, moving toward the Tal al-Ashari and Jileen areas, according to SANA.

The Syrian army has already captured the entire eastern countryside of Daraa, either by force or through reconciliations with the rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said the army has captured over 82 percent of Daraa during the military offensive that has started late last month.

The army has also captured the entire borderline with Jordan during the operation.

With the recent deals, the army will have to deal with the rebels in a few towns in the western countryside of Daraa near the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Those areas are Nawa, al-Harah, Inkhil, Jasim and Grgis, which are under the rebels' control in addition to the Tasil area, which is controlled by IS-allied militants.

Daraa has a symbolic significance as it was the birthplace of the Syrian war that erupted in 2011. Securing it will be a big victory for the Syrian army both symbolically and militarily as the rebels have used the Jordanian border to bring in arms and fighters throughout the war.