United States tells Syrian rebels it will not intervene in southern Syria

EPA-EFE  YOUSSEF BADAWI

Russian Federation bombed rebel-held areas in Syria's south late Saturday for the first time since it agreed on a ceasefire there almost a year ago, a monitor said. Two tracking centres that monitor military aircraft movements recorded at least 20 strikes on Busra al-Harir, north-east of Daraa, two sources told Reuters.

If the United States no longer plans to offer any assistance or cover to the Rebels, while the Russians provide air support to Assad's forces - many of them made up of Hezbollah and Iranian troops, it is very likely that the rebel-held southern regions along the border with Jordan will fall.

Moscow did not immediately comment on the reports.

Since the start of the offensive last week, the Syrian government had mostly deployed artillery and rockets.

You should not base your decision on the assumption or expectation of military intervention by us.

After securing Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is keen on recapturing the country's south, but key parts of it fall under a "de-escalation zone" agreed a year ago by the US, Jordan, and Russian Federation.

It's drawn in an assortment of foreign powers and now with the backing of Russia, Iran and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, al-Assad is seeking to recapture control of Deraa, one of the last remaining rebel held areas.

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Syrian government forces have liberated two villages in the Dara'a province's eastern countryside as they warm-up for a major offensive against militants holed up in the region.

Reuters reported that a message sent by Washington to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said the rebels should not expect help from the USA military.

"We in the United States government understand the hard conditions you are facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a military measure that violates the zone", the message added.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley is still railing against the planned offensive, and saying everything that happens will be Russia's fault.

Be we need to clarify our position: We understand you need to make your decisions based on your interests and the interests of your families and faction, as you see them.

Unless an agreement is reached between Moscow and Washington over the fate of southern Syria, a big offensive risks an escalation that could draw the U.S. deeper into the war.

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