Assad, aided by Russia, poised to seize ‘cradle’ of revolt

Government forces backed by Russia have seized most of Deraa province in the campaign that got underway last month and on Monday encircled rebel-held parts of Deraa city and seized the entire Jordanian frontier, which was once in opposition hands. Assad, whose control was reduced to a fraction of Syria in 2015, now holds most of the country, with crucial help from Russia and Iran. Deraa city was the scene of the first major anti-Assad protests in March 2011, which spiraled into a war now estimated to have killed half a million people.


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