DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian Army forces shelled terrorist-held parts of a volatile southern city Monday killing at least one person after Russia-brokered talks to end the presence of foreign-backed terrorists in the area collapsed.
Syrian media reported that army forces retaliated against fire by terrorists inside the city of Daraa.
The Britain-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian Army’s elite 4th Division and gunmen launched an operation to storm the terrorist-held old quarter of Daraa known as Daraa al-Balad.
At least one person was killed and another wounded in shelling on Daraa al-Balad, according to militant sources.
Media reports said terrorists shelling of government-held parts of Daraa wounded nine persons, including six members of the military.
Russia has been mediating a new deal to end the recent fighting in Daraa, in which terrorists who reject the deal will have to leave the region.
Last week, Syrian authorities ordered about 100 gunmen to leave Daraa al-Balad. A few left to militant-held areas in the north, but dozens defied the order and stayed.
As part of the deal, government forces were supposed to enter Daraa al-Balad after the departure of the hardcore opposition gunmen. Other militants who accept the deal would have to hand over their weapons in return for amnesty.
Daraa province became known as the cradle of the foreign-backed terrorism against Syria that erupted in 2011. It was recaptured by Syrian government troops in 2018. President Bashar Assad has since regained control of most of the country with the help of Russia and Iran.