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AKIPRESS.COM - Syrian government forces advanced through southwestern Syria on Tuesday as tens of thousands of civilians fled Syrian and Russian airstrikes, piling onto trucks and heading deeper into rebel-held territory.
With violence escalating, diplomats and experts warn that the pocket could become a geopolitical tinderbox capable of destabilizing neighboring Jordan and triggering a wider conflict between Israel and Iran, Washington Post reported.
A cease-fire agreement between the United States, Russia and Jordan had largely kept the peace for months while the Syrian army focused on rebel-held regions closer to the capital, Damascus.
But with those conquered, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have turned their attention to Syria’s southwest, with help in recent days from Russian airstrikes.
On Tuesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that forces loyal to Assad had taken control of the town of Busra al-Harir and the nearby Lajat area, prompting an exodus of families and cutting the rebels’ stronghold in half.