Syria regime captures more areas in southwest from Daesh

Recapturing Yarmouk basin from Daesh would bring all of southwest Syria back under Al Assad control

BEIRUT: The Syrian regime has captured some areas held by Daesh in a region of the southwest near the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, regime media said on Tuesday.

Engineering units were sweeping the areas taken in the Yarmouk basin region for mines and booby traps, it reported, citing a military source.

Recapturing the Yarmouk basin from Daesh would bring all of southwest Syria, long a crucible of the uprising against Bashar Al Assad, back under his control along with the entire frontiers with Israel and Jordan.

The army’s Russian-backed offensive to recover southwestern Syria has already defeated rebels fighting Al Assad, but the Yarmouk basin has remained under Daesh control.

Fighting near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights frontier is sensitive to the Israeli regime, which on Monday said it had used two missiles to bring down rockets launched in the battle between the Syrian regime and Daesh.

Daesh lost most of its territory last year after rival offensives by the army, backed by Russia, and an alliance of US-backed Kurdish and Arab militias swept through eastern Syria.

This year it also lost its foothold near Damascus in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. However, it has maintained an insurgent campaign in some desert areas in the east.

Meanwhile, Russia has offered to keep Iranian forces in Syria away from the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but Israel wants Tehran to completely withdraw, an Israeli regime official said on Tuesday.

Moscow made the offer — which would see Iranian forces stay 100 kilometres from Syria’s border with the Golan — during talks on Monday in occupied Jerusalem between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the official said.

But the Israeli regime said the proposal did not go far enough.

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