Intense Airstrikes Reported in SW Syria

BEIRUT (AP) -- A Syria war-monitoring group and an opposition paramedics' organization say the Syrian government and the Russian air force have launched intense airstrikes on rebel-held areas in the southwestern province of Daraa.

The latest wave of attacks comes after a four-day calm had prevailed in the area as rebels negotiated with the Russians about how to end the violence. The airstrikes first resumed on Wednesday afternoon, after the talks collapsed.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported some 600 airstrikes in Daraa, as well as on rebel-held parts of the contested provincial capital, also called Daraa.

The opposition's Civil Defense says its members evacuated the wounded from Daraa and nearby villages on Thursday.

The government's offensive in Dara began on June 19 and has displaced up to 330,000 people.

(KA)