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Hundreds of rescuers still stuck in south Syria after evacuation

Hundreds of rescuers still stuck in south Syria after evacuation

Israel said the evacuation came at the request of the U.S. and a number of European countries.

The IDF said they had "completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organisation and their families", saying there was an "immediate threat to their lives".

The Syrian army said its aerial strikes and shelling of militants in the Yarmouk Basin - the only territorial pocket held by the hardline Sunni fundamentalists in the country's southwest - had killed "tens of terrorists" in a campaign whose goal it said was to crush militants.

Hundreds of White Helmets rescuers and their families have been evacuated from Syria to Jordan overnight with the help of Israel, the United States and European countries.

Hundreds of White Helmet rescue workers have been evacuated from Syria, with many to be given sanctuary in Britain.

The Syrian military launched a major offensive last month to re-take rebel areas in Deraa and Quneitra provinces. The SAA also managed to recover more than 90% of the rebel-controlled Daraa area near the Jordanian border.

More than 20,000 civilians have escaped bombardment on the IS-held corner in the past 24 hours, fleeing into regime-held areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They were then taken to Jordan and will be resettled to western nations including France, Britain, Germany, and Canada.

"Fantastic news that we - United Kingdom and friends - have secured evacuation of White Helmets and their families - thank you Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on our request", tweeted British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

In Monday's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Netanyahu said a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km (62 miles) from the border was not enough, according to an Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

With its new advances, government forces are, for the first time since the civil war began in 2011, retaking this territory from the rebels and restoring their positions along the disengagement line in the Golan Heights.

Israel signalled it would not impede the Syrian army presence in Quneitra as long as it steered away from the demilitarized zone, and said it will continue to escalate attacks along its frontier and elsewhere in Syria where it suspects Iranian-backed forces are stationed.

As Damascus and its allies pursue victory, there appears little chance of the kind of negotiated peace Assad's adversaries say is needed to stabilize the country and encourage millions of refugees to return.

Canada has offered to accept dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria following a dramatic rescue over the weekend that was orchestrated by the Israeli military and personally encouraged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Israeli fighter jets attacked parts of western Syria yesterday on a military site in the Masyaf countryside.


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