BEIRUT – The U.S. government says it will take “firm and appropriate measures” to protect a cease-fire in southern Syria if President Bashar Assad’s forces attack rebels there, FOX News reports.
The State Department released information on Friday that they believe Assad Military Forces are preparing to push towards the Jordanian border and Israel border.
The area in southwestern Syria, between the border city of Daraa and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has emerged as a flashpoint in a wider standoff between regional archrivals Israel and Iran.
The U.S., Russia, and Jordan agreed last year to include Daraa in a “de-escalation zone” to freeze the lines of conflict. But government forces have recently dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas warning of an imminent offensive and urging fighters to lay down their arms, Syrian state media said Friday.
Assad has relied on Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to battle an uprising against his family’s decades-long rule and roll-back an Islamic State insurgency that grew out of the country’s seven-year civil war. Iran has sent military commanders to oversee battles and organize militias from across the Middle East to fight alongside Assad’s troops.
The government began moving reinforcements to Daraa province this week after expelling the last rebels and IS militants from around Damascus, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which closely monitors the war.
Leaflets dropped on northern Daraa, which is divided between rebel and government-controlled areas, warned: “The men of the Syrian army are coming.”
Hezbollah – or the Party of God – is a powerful political and military organization in Lebanon made up mainly of Shia Muslims.
It emerged with financial backing from Iran in the early 1980s and began a struggle to drive Israeli troops from Lebanon.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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