Syrian Government Vows to Defy U.S. and Fight Rebels

This photo released on Wednesday March 7, 2018 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian government soldiers advancing during a battle against Syrian rebels, in eastern Ghouta, Syria. The International Committee of the Red Cross said a second convoy that was supposed to carry aid to the besieged …
SANA via AP

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian state-run newspaper says Damascus will keep fighting the country’s rebels — or “terrorists” as the government calls opposition fighters — despite U.S. warnings against a new offensive in southern Daraa province.

Washington has cautioned it would take “firm and appropriate measures” to protect a cease-fire in southern Syria if President Bashar Assad’s forces move against rebels there.

The Al-Baath daily said in an editorial published on Monday that the U.S. threat underscores the “dirty American role in the terrorist war” against Syria.

The United States, Russia, and Jordan agreed last year to include Daraa in a “de-escalation zone” and freeze lines of conflict there.

Government forces recently dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Daraa, warning of an imminent offensive and urging anti-Assad fighters to lay down their arms.

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