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Watch: Air strikes pound Syria's Deraa city

Smoke rises after strikes on rebel-held Deraa city Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Daraa, Daraa Governorate, Syria Feb 14, 2017, 04.25 PM (IST)

Amateur videos posted to a social media website on Monday (February 13) purported to show air strikes hitting the southern Syrian city of Deraa.

The footage shows missiles striking various buildings in what is said to be the al-Balad district of the city, with smoke rising as a jet flew overhead.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday that warplanes carried out a series of air strikes on the city and the surrounding countryside.

Rebel fighters and the army have recently been engaged in heavy clashes in the city, with jets striking rebel outposts in the old quarter.

Rebels drawn from both the moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA) and jihadist groups launched an assault on Sunday (February 12) on the strategic district of Manshiya in an effort to seize it.

The district's capture would thwart an army goal of trying to secure a border crossing with Jordan that would allow the army to open a direct commercial route all the way to Damascus.

(Reuters)

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