Al-Qaeda militants seize last Assad stronghold in southern Syria

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ARA News

Daraa, Syria – On Thursday, militants of al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria) controlled the city of Baath in the province of Quneitra, the last headquarter of the regime’s army in southern Syria. 

According to military sources, the town of Khan Arnaba in the vicinity of the city of Baath is the only location under the control of the pro-Assad forces.

Al-Nusra insurgents intensified its military operations in the province of Quneitra (near the Israeli border) earlier this week, in an attempt to take over the entire province for strategic reasons. 

Hundreds of civilians escaped the city of Baath earlier this week, amid the intensification of violence in the area, heading towards Damascus. 

The city was named after Syria’s ruling Baath Party as an act of defiance after the destruction of nearby city of Quneitra in the 1967 war with Israel. Quneitra was abandoned and Baath is now the provincial administrative centre.

According to reports, about 2,000 fighters participated in the military operations in the province of Quneitra.

After controlling the southern province, al-Nusra rebels aim to make their way to the capital Damascus (64 km north of Quneitra). 

 

Reporting by: Ali Auwad

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