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Deraa, birthplace of Syria uprising, entered by government forces

11:50 13-07-2018
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Syrian government forces are retaking control of the rebel-held part of Deraa, the birthplace of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, BBC reports.

Troops, accompanied by Russian military police, entered the area and raised the national flag, state media reported.

Rebels there have reportedly agreed to surrender in return for an amnesty or safe passage to the rebel-held north.

The army has recaptured large swathes of Deraa's surrounding province since launching a major offensive on 19 June.

The United Nations says up to 234,000 people remain displaced by the fighting, 70% of whom have sought refuge in neighbouring Quneitra province, near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Tens of thousands of other people who had been sheltering along the border with Jordan have returned to their homes since rebel fighters in the Deraa countryside agreed to lay down their weapons and accept state rule last Friday.