Deal reached over Quneitra, says Syrian state media

Syrian official news agency SANA Syrian government forces and Syrian Arab Red Crescent oversee the evacuation by buses of opposition fighters and their families from the southern province of Daraa Syria Sunday July 15

Air strikes also hit opposition areas in Quneitra that lie within four kilometres from the sensitive buffer zone with the Israel-annexed Golan.

Despite an global outcry, government forces have retaken swathes of the area including the border with Jordan and are inching closer to the sensitive frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Since June, Syrian troops and allied forces have seized control of most of Daraa province, including the eponymous provincial capital which was the cradle of the uprising against President Bashar Assad seven years ago. The group is not party to the agreement between the government and rebels. It went on to deny Israeli media reports that resistance movement Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, had vowed to curtail the group's activities. It was not clear when implementation would begin.

They came back after reports that rebels had reached a surrender deal with the Russian military that would spare the city bombardment, another resident said. Those wishing to stay in the area will "settle" their status with the state, meaning accepting a return of its rule.

The area is a bastion of Iranian-backed militias including Hezbollah group, according to Western intelligence sources.

Once the southwestern campaign is finished, Assad's focus will likely turn to the two remaining areas outside his grasp.

Beyond the hilltop, the sliver of Daraa that still escapes regime control includes the rebel town of Nawa and a small pocket held by a Daesh militant group affiliate.

The Israeli military said that it will only allow foods and essential medicines to cross.

The war is estimated to have killed hundreds of thousands of people, displacing 11 million and forcing some six million overseas as refugees. The Observatory said government forces advanced on Massharah, a village in Quneitra, and rebels fought back in intense clashes that killed several pro-government fighters. The sound of planes could be heard as shelling continued.

"We haven't had a problem with the Assad regime, for 40 years not a single bullet was sacked on the Golan Heights", the Israeli premier was quoted by Haaretz newspaper as telling reporters who accompanied him on the Moscow visit.

By the afternoon, Syrian state news agency SANA said government forces had captured Tallet Al Hara.

HTS has said 1,500 detainees were to be released from regime jails in exchange for the evacuation.

The provisions did not elaborate on any implications of the deployment of military units on the 1974 agreement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking alongside U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, cited the need to restore the Golan to the state that prevailed before the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011.

Keeping their doctor's appointments in Israel, Syrian children and their mothers step across a tense Golan Heights border in the dead of night under the watchful gaze of Israeli soldiers.

The flurry of diplomatic exchanges on the matter have been accompanied by reports that Israel and the USA are coordinating a strategy that would see the total removal of Iranian forces from Syria in exchange for Israel's nonintervention in the stabilization of Assad's rule and, even more significantly, a potential offer from Trump to drop sanctions and recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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