Syrian government raises flag in Deraa, birthplace of revolt

Syrian government raises flag in Deraa, birthplace of revolt

The Syrian government raised the national flag on Thursday over areas of Deraa city that have been in rebel hands for years, a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad in the eight-year-old civil war.

State television said the army hoisted the flag near the post office on Thursday, the only government building in the portion of the city that had been held by rebels since the early days of the uprising that began there in 2011 with large protests.

Government forces backed by Russian air strikes have recovered swathes of southern Deraa province in the last three weeks, advancing unopposed by Assad’s western a

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