Syria regime launches intense attack on besieged Daraa city
Syrian regime forces early on Sunday escalated attacks on the Daraa al-Balad neighbourhood in southwestern Syria, only hours after the area's residents made pleas to the international community to help them evacuate.
A group of activists and journalists from the area called Ahrar Houran said an Iranian-backed militia group targeted the Daraa al-Balad neighbourhood, which has witnessed heavy bombardment and was under siege by the regime for months.
Spokesman of the Ahrar Houran group Ayman Abu Nokta said the regime and militias used machine guns, mortar artillery, tanks and grad missiles during the attacks.
On Saturday, officials in Daraa al-Balad called on the UN to help evacuate 50,000 people who were under threat of being forcibly displaced.
Daraa al-Balad was blockaded by regime forces on June 25 after residents resisted an order to surrender their weapons and allow regime forces to search houses in the area.
A ceasefire had come into effect on September 1 under a Russian-mediated agreement, but has since been broken by regime forces.