Syria regime forces capture key southern rebel town: Monitor
BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
Syrian regime forces take aim ISIL jihadists south of the town of Al-Bab, in the northern province of Aleppo on January 14, 2016. AFP PhotoSyrian pro-government forces captured a strategic southern rebel town close to the Jordanian border after weeks of fighting, a monitor said on Jan. 26.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime troops and allied militia including fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement and Iranian officers "seized control of Sheikh Miskeen" overnight with the help of Russian and Syrian government air strikes.
The town, in Daraa province, lies on a vital crossroads between Damascus to the north and the government-controlled city of Sweida to the east.
It is 12 kilometres (seven miles) from the rebel stronghold of Nawa, another key target for regime forces.
A security source had told AFP the Sheikh Miskeen was a "launching pad" for rebel operations, and one of the opposition's "centres of gravity for the whole of Daraa province".
He said seizing control of the town would sever a rebel supply route to areas under opposition control around Damascus.
Last month, government troops captured the Brigade 82 base outside the town, and they have since been pushing to capture Sheikh Miskeen.
Most of Daraa province is controlled by opposition forces, though the government holds parts of the provincial capital and a few villages in the northwest.