Syria, Russia resume airstrikes after cease-fire fails

By Susan McFarland  |  July 5, 2018 at 9:02 AM
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July 5 (UPI) -- The Syrian government and Russian forces launched new airstrikes on the southern province of Daraa Thursday, less than a day after a cease-fire with rebels broke down.

The strikes were aimed at taking back territory lost to insurgents in recent years. Syrian forces retook a security checkpoint near the Jordanian border for the first time in three years, Al Jazeera reported.

Government forces will continue to advance at the Nassib border crossing as part of its strategy to fight the rebels, AMN reported.

Fighting in Syria has led to more than a quarter-million people fleeing their homes in southwest Syria and seeking shelter along the border with Jordan and Israel, both of which refuse to take in refugees but are delivering some supplies to them.

Southwest Syria was declared a de-escalation zone last year by Russia, Jordan and the United States.

The Syrian Negotiations Commission said Russia, Damascus' most significant ally, refused to let Syrian forces and Iranian fighters withdraw from captured areas to aid evacuations.

This is the fourth round of negotiations that failed between rebel groups and Russian military.

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