File - A picture taken on February 15, 2014 from the side of the forces loyal to Syrian president, shows a tank pointed at rebel positions in the strategic rebel-held Yabrud area near the Syrian capital Damascus. (AFP PHOTO SAM SKAINE)
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War is raging in most of Syria's 14 provinces, but two military campaigns have recently taken center stage in the media spotlight.The other battle – actually a battle to come – is in the southern province of Deraa, where media on both sides of the conflict have played up the idea of an imminent, decisive push, but this time by the rebels.Over the last two weeks, pro-opposition media outlets and activists in Qalamoun have claimed that the rebels are holding out against the government's campaign, while managing to inflict dozens of casualties in the ranks of the army, paramilitaries and Hezbollah.Gen. Abdel-Ilah Bashir, a commander from the southern province of Qunaitra, was named as Idriss' successor, but the deposed chief, supported by some FSA figures in Deraa, has rejected the move.As for a push to Damascus from the south, the activist described how rebel groups, some working in coordination with fighters from the Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham Islamist militia, have been busy engaging regime forces in a number of locations in Deraa province, and further west into the next-door province of Qunaitra.
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