Israel warns Syrians approaching Golan frontier

Israel warns Syrians approaching Golan frontier

Israel warns Syrians approaching Golan frontier

A picture taken on July 17, 2018 from the Israeli-annexed Syrian Golan Heights shows displaced Syrians from the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra at their camp near the Syrian village of Burayqah in the southern province of Quneitra.

Russian-backed Syrian troops now hold more than 80 percent of Daraa province but scored fresh gains Monday against remaining opposition forces in its western countryside and in neighboring Quneitra.

Netanyahu's government has expressed concern about Assad's efforts to fight back rebels in southwest Syria near the border with Israel, as well as a growing Iranian military presence there.

The Syrians who approached the fence stopped some 200 metres (yards) away. "They can hear the fighting getting closer and worry it's only a matter of time before the front line reaches them".

Separately, some 7,000 civilians were expected to be evacuated from two pro-government villages in northwestern Syria as part of a negotiated deal with insurgents who have besieged them for three years.

Israel has said it will not allow any refugees to cross the border, despite urgent calls by humanitarian agencies saying their safety is at risk.

Rebels said Russian and Syrian jets intensively bombed a string of rebel-held towns in Quneitra to force them to surrender in a strategy that offers rebels the choice of either evacuating to opposition-held areas or being recruited into state-run militias.

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With the city of Daraa and most of the province under their control, government forces have turned their focus to the area near the frontier with Israel, to clear the last pockets of the opposition.

On Sunday, several hundred rebels and civilians were bussed from Daraa city to opposition-held Idlib in the northwest, paving the way for it to return fully to the government fold. Fighter Abdullah Masalmah, who had chosen to leave and was about to board the bus, said: "I can not forget the thousands of those who were killed by the regime let alone the orphans, wounded and the detainees".

Air strikes on Tuesday killed more than a dozen civilians in parts of Syria's south near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a war monitor said.

Regime troops made another "quick advance" against rebels on Monday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor which relies on a network of sources inside the country. "Get a move on". More than 300,000 people have been displaced by the recent regime offensive, according to the UN.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian state media reported late Tuesday that rebels in Daraa had agreed to surrender their heavy and medium weapons.

"However, if Iran and Israel get into a full-blown war that potentially threatens the Assad regime and/or forces Russian Federation to get involved", then this could jeopardize that situation, he said.

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