Trump Abandoned US Allies in Syria, Russia Big Winner: Israeli Media

Gen. Joseph Votel speaks during a news conference with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon

President Bashar al-Assad's forces have advanced in Daraa thanks to a deadly bombardment campaign since 19 June, along with Russia-brokered deals between opposition fighters and the government.

Earlier on Tuesday, 15 civilians were killed in strikes in both provinces, including 14 in Ain al-Tina village on the administrative border with Quneitra.

In April 2017, thousands of people in the two Shi'ite towns were evacuated to government-held areas in a swap that in exchange freed hundreds of Sunnis living in former rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani who were then besieged by Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah group. That would pave the way for the entire city to come under government control in accordance with the handover deal. The pro-Syrian government Central Military Media said a number of insurgents were killed in the clashes.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the US-Turkey deal on Syria's northeastern Manbij city with his American counterpart Donald Trump over the phone, Turkey's presidential press office said on Monday.

Syrian government soldiers burn a militant flag while flashing the victory gesture at the Nassib border crossing with Jordan in the southern province of Dara'a on July 7, 2018. Russian Federation is supporting Assad's forces in its military campaigns around Syria.

Rebels and armed groups still control 70 percent of Quneitra, while the Syrian government is in full control of Sweida, a third southern province, the Observatory added.

On June 19, after securing Damascus and outlying areas of the capital, regime forces - backed by Russian Federation - launched an offensive against Deraa.

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About 160,000 civilians have fled towards the Golan Heights, the region annexed by Israel from Syria.

The government troops have scored remarkable advance in northwest Daraa province, liberating key mountaintop that overlooking the occupied Golan Heights.

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.

Israel, which seized the Golan in the 1967 Middle East War, has given humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in encampments close to a 1974 Israeli-Syrian disengagement line.

The Assad regime now controls 61 per cent of the country's territory, according to the Observatory.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 350,000 people since March 2011, although the United Nations has long stopped keeping count of casualties in the seven-year conflict.

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