'2 Israeli missiles' strike near Damascus airport - Syrian state media

'2 Israeli missiles' strike near Damascus airport - Syrian state media

It is one of two major areas still held by the rebels, along with Idlib province on the border with Turkey in the northwest.

State television reported: "Syria's army is carrying out targeted air strikes against terrorist positions and fortifications in Daraa".

On its Facebook account, the of "Zulfiqar Brigade" militia said on Tuesday that they, along with soldiers of the Syrian regime army, were now at "the center of Busra al-Harir, in the eastern countryside of Daraa". At least 29 civilians have been killed and almost 20,000 displaced over the past week, mostly from northeastern Daraa, the Observatory said.

SANA news said the strikes are part of Israel's "support" for "terror organizations" and were in retaliation for recent Syrian army advances in the south near Daraa and as-Suwayda.

Air strikes hit the rebel-held town of Nawa for the first time in almost a year, the Observatory said. Israeli officials have since attributed the drone to Syrian regime forces.

A USA official said it was Israeli forces that carried out a deadly strike against an Iraqi paramilitary base in eastern Syria on June 17.

Air strikes and barrel bombs on Tuesday caused "unparalleled destruction across the town and to its infrastructure", 48-year-old resident Khaleel al-Hariri told AFP. Syrian government shelling since June 17 has destroyed a health center, a civil defense center and put a hospital out of service.

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"We haven't seen massive displacement in this scale in Daraa", Tom said. For the government, the latest push means its forces in the heart of Daraa province and those in adjacent Sweida province are now directly connected.

On Tuesday, regime forces expanded the offensive even further.

The Russian Defense Ministry meanwhile said al-Qaida-linked fighters had attacked 12 areas where rebels had switched sides and allied with the government.

The UN had previously warned that fighting was putting 750,000 people in rebel-held areas of the south in harm's way.

The attack has fuelled concern of a new wave of displacement in a conflict that has already uprooted 11 million people, forcing millions overseas as refugees.

"Jordan can not be expected to take on the responsibility of accepting more refugees alone, however, and we call on the global community to urgently step up and provide significant additional support".

The latest wave of airstrikes marks the end of a de-escalation deal agreed for southern Syria last year by Russian Federation, the USA and Jordan last year.

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