Syrian Rebels Surrender at Quneitra

July 20

Rebels in Syria’s south have to the negotiate surrender of a sensitive southwestern zone bordering the ­Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, reports revealed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal covering most of Quneitra province would see government institutions return to the area in exchange for rebels handing over heavy weapons.

State news agency SANA said it had preliminary information on a deal for the army to return to its pre-2011 positions in the area.

The deal came after several thousand residents were evacuated from two towns in northern Syria, bringing to an end one of the longest sieges of the country’s seven-year civil war.

The towns of Kefraya and al-Foua in Idlib province were besieged for three years by rebels and the jihadist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

A deal was reached on Tuesday between Russia and rebel-ally Turkey to see about 6900 residents taken to government-held territory in exchange for the release of 1500 prisoners from regime jails.

Kefraya and al-Foua were the last remaining areas under blockade and a rare example of pro-government towns surrounded by rebel forces.