Syrian army enters rebel bastion in Daraa following agreement

The Syrian army hoisted the national flag in the Daraa al-Balad area, following a Russian-mediated agreement with the armed rebels.

State news agency SANA said the army hoisted the flag on Wednesday after scores of rebels laid down their weapons and surrendered themselves while others chose to be transported to rebel-held areas in northern Syria, reports Xinhua news agency.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Russians have put in a lot of effort to make success a deal for defusing the months-long tension in Daraa, SANA added.

The deal mainly allows rebels who want to reconcile with the government to lay down their weapons in exchange for a pardon while others who reject the government are allowed safe access to rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

The deal was faced with many snags, as the rebels were demanding access to Jordan or Turkey, as the situation in rebel-held areas in northern Syria wasn’t satisfactory for them.

However, the deal seems like it worked out finally.

SANA said the army is deploying in Daraa al-Balad amid preparations for combing the area in search of weapons and tunnels left by the departed rebels.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recently placed the number of internally displaced people in Daraa province as a result of the recent tension at 38,600, including almost 15,000 women and over 20,400 children.

The Syrian army entered Daraa in 2018 after the rebels there were dislodged to the rebel-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.

However, the tension has continued in Daraa with attacks taking place occasionally.