Syria army begins assault on Deraa city: state media

Elias Hubbard
June 28, 2018

In a report in the early hours of Tuesday, Syria's state news agency Sana said "two Israeli missiles came down near Damascus global airport".

The United States has repeatedly warned Assad against violating the de-escalation zone, saying it would have serious repercussions and pledging "firm and appropriate measures". A USA official said it was Israeli forces that attacked an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.

The escalation in Daraa, near Jordan and Israel, came as Syria's state media reported that two Israeli missiles struck an area near the Damascus International Airport early Tuesday, without naming a specific target. A separate media report said the site was allegedly a military base belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah guerrilla organization.

Rebel groups mainly hold the southern half of the city while loyalists control the north.

Syrian and Iranian military facilities in the war-torn country have been hit several times since April.

State media said government warplanes and artillery also targeted the rebel-held sector of Deraa city, aiming to cut the supply road to the Jordanian border nearby.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said a wide-scale demining process is underway; concurrently with setting up new positions which will propel the Syrian forces to expand its control southward.

"Over the last couple of days we saw a very large number of people who fled because of the ongoing hostilities, because of the shelling and fighting in that area", said Linda Tom, spokeswoman for the United Nations humanitarian coordination office in Syria.

"People don't know where to go", said Ahmad al-Dbis, safety and security manager at UOSSM, a medical charity that works in opposition parts of Syria.

WFP had provided food to 30,000 people and plans to deliver more in the coming days over the border from Jordan, she said.

"We expect the number of displaced people could almost double as violence escalates", Bettina Luescher, spokeswoman for the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), said at a briefing on Tuesday. Another six million are displaced inside the country.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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