Assad's forces retake Daraa, birthplace of Syria's uprising

Syrian rebels agreed to give up the strategic Nassib border crossing under the terms of a truce deal

"Units of the Syrian Arab army entered the district of Daraa al-Balad and raised the national flag in the main square ... a declaration that Daraa is now clear of terrorism", said the state news agency Sana, referring to the opposition groups as terrorists.

Measures to implement the so-called reconciliation deal for rebel-held parts of the city had not yet been implemented, it said.

The Syrian government announced an offensive last month to reclaim all of the province of Daraa, where western-backed rebels controlled swathes of territory in what was ostensibly a "de-escalation" zone.

But Jaish Khaled bin Walid, a local IS branch that controls a small corner in the southwest of the province, on the border with Jordan and close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is not included in that deal. Anti-Assad rebels still control a chunk of the northwest, and the northeast and a large chunk of the east are controlled by Kurdish-led groups.

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With critical help from Russian Federation and Iran, Assad has now recovered most of Syria.

As Assad pursues military victory, there appears to be little hope of a negotiated peace which Western governments say is needed to bring stability and encourage refugees to return.

The display is laden with symbolism as the government moves to stamp out the last of the 2011 uprising against Assad, who has ruled with an iron fist over Syria for 18 years.

The government is waging a wide-scale offensive in southern Syria, where it recently retook a major crossing on the border with Jordan. "The government is expected to launch an operation to capture this area", she added.

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The agreement also provides for safe passage for thousands of opposition fighters and civilians to rebel territory further north, although those transfers have not yet begun.

Rebels quickly sought to negotiate with Assad's Russian sponsors after the United States, which for years had backed the southern rebels, said it would not intervene militarily to protect them.

Rebels are pinning hopes on the Russian military police to prevent the army from taking revenge and entering specific areas after complaints of widespread looting and some arrests in other towns in Daraa province they have gained control.

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