Civil defence members inspect a site hit by what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Sheikh Meskeen near Deraa, Syria December 24, 2015. (REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir)
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Syrian army backed by Russian jets enters rebel-held southern town: armySyrian troops fought their way into a rebel-held town in the southern province of Deraa Wednesday in an assault which rebels said was supported by the heaviest Russian aerial bombing campaign so far in the south. Troops were in Sheikh Miskeen's main square and had taken over the eastern and northern neighborhoods of the town which lies on a major supply route from the Syrian capital, Damascus, to the city of Deraa, the army said in a statement. Securing the town would allow the army to press further south in mainly rebel held towns such as Ibta, Dael and in Ataman near Deraa city.
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