57 Reported Killed as Syrian Troops Seize Daraa Towns

Civilians Among the Claim as Military Retakes Key Towns

Syrian military forces appear to have stopped ceding territory in the Daraa Province today, launching a counteroffensive which seized two towns. Reports from the pro-rebel Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claim 57 people, including six children, were killed in the offensive.

The counteroffensive appears to have been prompted by military defections in the area, after a dozen troops reportedly joined Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in the towns of al-Sanamein and Ghabagheb.

The military went after the defectors, shelling the towns as part of an all-out offensive that eventually appears to have captured them. 16 rebel fighters and 12 Syrian soldiers were also reported slain.

Most of the rebel fighters in Daraa are FSA-linked, with the fighters getting training across the border in Jordan from US forces. The rebels have been trying to claim more of the border region with Jordan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.