DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – A group of 430 terrorists have laid down their arms in Syria’s southern Daraa province after agreeing to a truce with government forces, a source in the Syrian security forces told Sputnik.
The new agreement was signed on Sunday with the mediation of Russia.
The terrorists began to arrive at the reconciliation center from 10:00 local time (07:00 GMT), the deadline set by the Syrian authorities to accept the ceasefire conditions. Otherwise, the Syrian army would resume military operations.
Under the truce deal, reached on August 14, the militants were obliged to hand over their weapons, and government forces were due to install checkpoints in nine districts of Daraa al-Balad.
Last week, armed militants in Daraa violated the agreement, refusing to hand over heavy weapons after the authorities provided them with 40 buses to depart for the north of Syria or Jordan.
Some 290 terrorists had agreed to lay down weapons and regulate their social status before the truce violation. On August 31, militants attacked state institutions and troops in Daraa, killing four soldiers and wounding eight more.
Back in 2018, Syrian army troops, backed by Russian and Iran, managed to establish control over Daraa Province, which is bordered by Jordan to the south and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to the west.
Thousands of foreign-sponsored militants handed over their heavy weapons under a Russian-mediated deal, but maintained grip on Daraa al-Balad.
The militants have intensified their attacks since late July, targeting residential areas.
In response, government forces have imposed a siege on Daraa al-Balad, but opened a corridor for civilians to leave.
In another development, Russian and Syrian helicopter pilots held their first-ever joint drills in Syria’s southeastern desert.
The first phase of the joint tactical flight training, which ended on Monday, involved the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force, Chief of Aviation of the Russian forces in Syria Andrei Yermakov was quoted as saying by TASS.
“During the training, we practiced cooperation between Russian and Syrian air units during missions aimed at hitting predetermined and impromptu targets, as well as at facilitating the landing of tactical airborne units,” Yermakov informed.
He said it was the first exercise involving Russian and Syrian helicopter pilots in the Syrian Desert.
The first phase took place in Syrian Desert under simulated combat conditions, a report in TASS said.