Assad Army Said Laying Siege in Southern Syria Rebel Enclave

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Syrian army soldiers burn a rebel flag after taking over the Naseeb post on the border with Jordan.
Syrian army soldiers burn a rebel flag after taking over the Naseeb post on the border with Jordan.Credit: AFP

The Syrian army and allied troops on Monday laid siege to the rebel-held enclave in the southern city of Daraa and their troops were poised to gain complete control of the city, rebels said.

Abu Shaima, a spokesman for the opposition in the city, said several thousand people were now encircled after the army pushed into a main base west of the city without a fight before a formal evacuation of rebels opposed to a Russian-brokered surrender deal.

A deal was reached on Friday between Russian officers and rebel representatives that surrendered Daraa city along with other towns in the southern province that borders Jordan in another victory for Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.  

Opposition fighters not ready to make peace with the army must first be allowed to evacuate to opposition-held areas in northern Syria before the hand over of weapons and the return of state sovereignty. 

The rebels say the deal also does not allow the army to move into their bastions and allows for setting up local forces from ex-rebels under the oversight of Russian military police. 

In other parts of the deal, Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels who once received Western support continued to hand over border posts along the frontier with Jordan, east of Deraa province, that it had been in control of since the early days of the conflict. 

The army and its militias won a strategic victory after they captured Nassib crossing, the vital trade route that insurgents held for three years. 

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