Iraq News

Syrians flee fearing regime attack on ISIS in south

Several thousand Syrians have fled parts of the country's south held by an affiliate of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) due to fears of a regime attack, AFP reported Monday (July 9th).

The ISIS-held pocket in Daraa province's western countryside is not included in a Russia-brokered ceasefire deal agreed last week between opposition fighters and the regime.

That agreement put an end to more than two weeks of bombing of opposition-controlled areas, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that those living under an ISIS affiliate feared they were the next target.

"Around 4,000 people, including hundreds of women and children, fled areas controlled by Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid in western parts of Daraa," the Observatory said.

The ISIS affiliate holds just under 7% of Daraa province, according to Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

The regime's military advance and the handover of towns through the ceasefire deal has brought its forces to areas adjacent to the ISIS-controlled zone, Abdel Rahman said, but no operation has begun.

More than 320,000 people fled waves of Russian and Syrian airstrikes, barrel bombs, and rocket fire, but tens of thousands of those displaced have returned home after the ceasefire brought relative calm to their hometowns.

More than 60,000 had taken shelter along the border with Jordan, but most have returned home and just 150 to 200 remained, according to the UN.

Under the deal, opposition fighters are to hand over their heavy weapons and the government will take over the province, including the border with Jordan.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)
Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500