Syrian Rebels Say Army is Besieging Key Districts in Daraa

As handover stalls, Syria looks to take last rebel territory by force

A negotiated handover of rebel-held southern Syria back to government control continues to move forward, but reports of some areas stalling were met with quick, major Syrian army offensives, centering on surrounding those holdouts.

Syrian rebels in Daraa, the southern city, say their districts are being besieged by the Syrian military, and that they believe the fall of the city outright is imminent. This is effectively the last of the rebel holdings in Syria’s south.

Syrian state media reported the army has effectively sealed off the border areas west of the city, and have it surrounded entirely. They say they are “tightening the noose” on the rebels, who they termed “terrorists.”

The fall of Daraa will remain the only substantial rebel-held territory will be in the far north, along the Turkish border. Syria has not indicated what their plans are for that region, but their long-term goals are clearly to recover all the territory lost to the rebels in years of war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.