The Syrian Assad forces expanded their offensive

Сирийские войска Асада расширили свое наступление

Israeli troops ordered them to return to a nearby camp that is sheltering civilians who have fled the latest offensive by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on rebel-held areas in the country's south.

"Six civilians including two women and three children were killed in air strikes near Ain al-Tina" on Quneitra's border with Daraa province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Rebels and other groups still control 70 per cent of Quneitra, while the Syrian government is in full control of Sweida - a third southern province - the Observatory added. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Syrian government warplanes launched airstrikes against hardline rebel fighters entrenched on a hilltop overlooking the rebel-controlled city of Nawa on Wednesday, amid an ongoing campaign by Damascus-led forces to capture vantage points overlooking rebel territory in western Daraa.

The International Rescue Committee said the government's advance in southwestern Syria has trapped tens of thousands of displaced Syrians along the frontier with the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967.

Smoke following the explosions in Syria is seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the Israeli-Syrian border July 19, 2018.

Almost three weeks of bombardment saw beleaguered rebels agree with Russian Federation earlier this month to hand over Daraa province, before reaching a similar deal for its capital this week.

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A brutal crackdown saw the movement develop into a full-fledged conflict that has since killed more than 450,000 people and displaced half the country's pre-war population. "Over 28 (air) strikes struck Mashara and intense artillery and missile bombardment", Suhaib Al Ruhail said.

But the evacuation of the remaining 7,000 people in al-Foua and Kefraya in exchange for the release of 1,500 detainees prisoners never went through. Talks to hand over Nawa, one of the most densely populated towns in Daraa province, have been ongoing for a couple of days.

Evacuating opposition fighters and their families from Daraa began on Sunday.

Government forces have made a modest ground advance there, the Observatory and state media both said.

Iran's military and the militias it backs have established bases across Iraq and Syria to help fight Islamic State and groups opposing Assad, and its ally Hezbollah is well entrenched in Lebanon.

Israel has stepped up attacks against what it describes as Iranian and Iran-backed targets in Syria this year.

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