DAMASCUS, The Syrian army and its allies gained full control of the Yarmouk Basin in southwestern Syria after routing Daesh militants, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group’s al-Manar TV said.

The basin borders Israel and Jordan and had been the last embattled pocket of the southwest after a sustained advance by Syrian government forces into the longtime rebel stronghold.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has fought alongside Syrian forces which has turned the tide of the civil war against rebels and militants with the help of Russian air power since 2015.

The army seized Daesh’s main redoubt in the town of Shajara on Monday, which left just a few villages in the hands of an Daesh-affiliated faction, the Khalid Ibn Al Walid army, that had controlled the Yarmouk Basin.

The rural area has been the last wedge of southwestern Syria with continued fighting, with the government having taken control of the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and most of Deraa province to the east.

Between 1,000 and 1,500 Daesh militants had been holding their ground in the area yielded under intensive Russian bombing from the air, a regional intelligence source said.

Hundreds of air strikes also prompted thousands of civilians to flee and caused untold civilian casualties, according to another Western intelligence source.

Pres Bashar Al Assad is in his strongest position since the early days of the seven-year war that has killed half a million people.

Completing his recovery of the southwest would leave rebels largely confined to a stretch of territory in the northwest.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Syrian government forces and Daesh for an exchange of prisoners in southern Syria failed to reach an agreement after Daesh imposed new conditions, activists said Tuesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the talks were meant to lead to a deal under which Daesh would release captive civilians – about 30 women and children abducted last week during fighting in the southern province of Sweida.

In return, the regime was to free 150 captured Daesh militants and open a corridor for 100 besieged Daesh-linked fighters to leave the area of the fighting.

The Observatory said that instead, government forces resumed air strikes on Tuesday, targeting some of the besieged Daesh-linked fighters near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Sweida 24, an activist collective, said the talks collapsed after Daesh put new conditions, including withdrawal of Syrian troops from Sweida and a comittment by the province’s residents not to take part in any attacks on Daesh in the future.

The collective also listed the names of the 30 civilians abducted last Wednesday, when a wave of attacks in Sweida and the provincial capital killed more than 200 people. Those abducted are members of the minority Druze community.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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DAMASCUS, The Syrian army and its allies gained full control of the Yarmouk Basin in southwestern Syria after routing Daesh militants, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group's al-Manar TV said.The basin borders Israel and Jordan and had been the last embattled pocket of the southwest after a sustained advance by Syrian...