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Terrorists set orchards ablaze in southwest Syria

Terrorists associated with a notorious Takfiri outfit have torched and destroyed dozens of acres of orchards in southwestern Syria.

The terrorists linked to the al-Qaeda offshoot in the Arab country, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, carried out the arson attack near the Hadar village in Quneitra Province, the official SANA news agency reported.

A SANA reporter said the fire is expanding due to the direction of the wind and because firefighters cannot reach the site of the blaze. Some of the orchards, the reporter said, are 20 years old.

“With this move, the terrorists have deprived the villagers of the crop which was their main source of income,” SANA said.

The report said most of the terrorist groups based in Quneitra suburbs were affiliated with the Nusra Front and received logistical and intelligence assistance from Israel.

“The terrorists attack villages with rockets, mortars and sniper fire and torch agricultural lands to please the Zionist regime and loot property,” it added.

SANA said Fateh al-Sham terrorists on Sunday shelled al-Ba’ath city in Quneitra Province, causing material damage but no casualties. The Army responded, targeting their weapons piles and inflicting other losses.

Al-Nusra re-branded itself in July 2016, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying in February that the US had practically made its so-called zone of control in southern Syria a safe haven for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists.

Russia has accused the US of attempting to hamper a full Syrian victory against Daesh. It has released “evidence” purportedly showing US forces deployed in Dayr al-Zawr border regions and in Jordan provide Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists with intelligence about Syrian and Russian forces.

On Friday, the US State Department threatened the Syrian government with “firm and appropriate measures” in response to alleged violations in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.

It noted that “the ceasefire must continue to be enforced and respected” in the Syrian areas bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

US airstrikes hit Syrian Army position

On Monday, Syrian state media cited a military source as saying that a US airstrike had hit one of the Army positions in eastern Syria, leading to deaths and injuries.

The strike targeted al-Harra southeast of the city of Bu Kamal in Dayr al-Zawr Province. A Syrian commander told Reuters that “probably American” drones had bombed the positions between Bu Kamal and the al-Tanf area.

US Central Command spokesman Major Josh Jacques denied the report but a UK-based monitoring group said 38 government-allied fighters had been killed in the attack near Syria’s eastern border with Iraq.

Bu Kamal was the Takfiri terror group of Daesh’s last stronghold in Syria, which government troops and their allies retook late last year.

Tanf is located in a zone, where Syria, Iraq and Jordan’s borders meet, and is of paramount strategic importance, where the United States has set up a military base.

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