World, middle east

Iran-backed forces withdraw from southern Syria

Over last 3 days, Lebanese Hezbollah militia left Daraa province, Etman and Khirbet Ghazaleh towns

  | 22.05.2018
Iran-backed forces withdraw from southern Syria FILE PHOTO

By Ammar al-Ali and Mohamad Misto

DARAA, Syria

Iran-backed forces on Tuesday withdrew from some areas in southern Syria, well-informed sources said.

Lebanese Hezbollah militia partially withdrew from the neighborhoods of Daraa province, and Etman and Khirbet Ghazaleh towns, adjacent to a highway linking the Syrian capital Damascus and the Jordanian capital Amman, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

Over the last three days, three groups of the militia have left the area. The last departure occurred at dawn Tuesday.

The militia was armed with machine guns and rocket launchers.

The withdrawal took place following intensive reconnaissance flights over the region.

The withdrawing forces have taken the highway heading to the al-Sanamin city in northern Daraa. They are gathering at the ninth division and some military barracks around the city, from where they will be redeployed in far north of the province and Damascus, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

The Syrian regime forces moved into the areas which the militia left behind, especially in the two neighborhoods of Sajna and Al-Manshiyya.

A number of foreign militias supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, most notably Hezbollah, the Fatemiyoun Division and the Quds Force, are deployed in a large number of locations in the two provinces of Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria.

Recently, Israeli warplanes and artillery have repeatedly targeted several Iranian positions and bases in Syria, particularly in the southern part of the war-torn country.

Iran is a staunch supporter of the Bashar al-Assad regime and has deployed forces to fight alongside regime forces against opposition groups in a ferocious civil war that erupted in 2011 when the Assad regime put down pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

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