DAMASCUS – Israeli strikes hit a regime post in northern Syria late Sunday, a Syrian military source told dpa, confirming state media reports.
Israeli planes struck the position north of the Al Naerab military airport in Aleppo, the source said.
The Syrian state-run Syrian News Agency quoted a military source as saying “the Zionist enemy has repeated its desperate attempts to support the defeated terrorist groups in Daraa and Quneitra and targeted one of our military posts with rockets north of the Al Naerab airport.”
The agency said the strike caused only material damage.
The strike came the same day the regime and allied fighters launched an offensive on rebel-held areas in the southern province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a monitoring group said.
“More than 800 shells have been fired on several areas in the province where fierce fighting has been going on between the regime forces and the rebel factions since dawn,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The government forces took control of the village of Mashara in the central countryside of Quneitra,” the Britain-based watchdog said.
The fighting is taking place just 4 kilometres away from a disengagement area between the countryside of Quneitra and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
At least five fighters on the Syrian side and three members of the rebel factions were killed in the fighting, the watchdog added.
Rebel factions control more than 70 per cent of Quneitra.
The offensive comes days after Syrian troops secured most of the southern province of Daraa.
The Syrian government forces now control more than 84 percent of Daraa, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
According to activists, there are still some 2,000 rebel fighters inside the rebel-controlled parts of Daraa city.
On Sunday, the first batch of armed fighters and their families left Daraa to the rebel-held Idlib province in the north, the observatory said.
“Nine buses carrying 430 fighters and members of their families and two ambulances moved from Darra after they were searched to Idlib,” it said.
The watchdog added that hundreds more fighters and civilians are expected to be evacuated within the coming hours.
In the past, thousands of opposition fighters from other parts in Syria were evacuated to Idlib under deals brokered by Russia. -DPA