Syrian TV said government forces captured a strategic hill overlooking the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights as they continue their drive to retake the last part of southwestern Syria still in rebel hands.
Al-Haara hill is the highest point in Deraa province, which the rebels say has come under heavy Syrian and Russian bombardment over the last two days.
The Syrians are carrying out the same strategy they used in other parts of the country — force the rebels to negotiate a surrender and allow them and their families to retreat to other rebel-controlled areas.
The fighting in southern Syria has put Israel on high alert. The bombings are very close to the Syrian side of the demilitarized zone set up along the Israeli border after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Israel has warned Syria and its allies, Iran and Hezbollah, against deploying any forces in the zone, threatening a “harsh response.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump promised to work together to keep unwanted forces away from the area.