Syria: fall of Daraa; regime prepares Idlib offensive

Three weeks into the Assad regime’s offensive on Daraa governorate in Syria’s south, the Free Syrian Army’s Southern Front have entered into a surrender deal brokered by Russia, which calls for their phased withdrawal of towns they still hold over the coming days.¬†The Russian military plans to evacuate up to 1,000 people via a “humanitarian corridor” to Idlib in the north, the last significant pocket of rebel control. But the fate of many thousands more remains uncertain, even as the UN hopes for the return of the over 250,000 displaced from Daraa over the past weeks. Meanwhile, refuge in Idlib will be precarious at best, as the regime and its Russian backers are preparing a final offensive there.¬†UN¬†Secretary General Ant√≥nio Guterres is calling¬†for an investigation into deadly¬†Russian air-strikes last week¬†on the Idlib¬†town of Zardana, in which at least 47 civilians were reported killed. (Enab Baladi,¬†MEE,¬†TRT World,¬†BBC News)

Photo: Assad regime troops under rebel flag in Daraa. Via Enab Baladi