Syrian children ride a bicycle past destroyed buildings in a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa on June 3, 2018. / AFP / Mohamad ABAZEED
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Seven years after giving birth to Syria's revolt, the country's south looks set to fall back into regime hands likely through a rare consensus emerging among rival powers. The government has regained control of much of Syria with Russian backing, and a win in the south would cap a string of victories this year.Its As a result, it's a prized region for nearly all stakeholders in Syria's warped war – the regime and rebels, plus Iran, Jordan, Israel, Russia, and the United States.Typically bitterly divided over Syria, most of those powers seem to agree on a government comeback in the southern provinces of Deraa and Qunaitra. Rebels still hold most of Deraa and Qunaitra, but pro-regime forces, including around 500 Iranian military advisers and members of Hezbollah, are deployed elsewhere in the south.It called last week for urgent negotiations with the U.S. and Jordan on the south, and Thursday President Vladimir Putin discussed Syria with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Although a full-blown assault would be catastrophic, a deal with the regime remains hard to swallow.
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