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    A soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's forces is seen in Quneitra, Syria July 22, 2018

    Syrian Flag Seen Flying Over Long-Abandoned City in Golan Heights (PHOTO)

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    The Syrian Army is continuing its lightning advance in the country's south and focusing on finishing off Islamist forces as other opposition militants switch sides or surrender.

    Syrian forces raised the flag on Thursday as they continue their effort to restore government control over southern Syria and the strategic Golan Heights territory bordering Israel and Jordan, Reuters reported.

    Uniformed men could be seen raising the Syrian flag in the abandoned capital of Quneitra province, which was destroyed by Israeli forces during their withdrawal from the area in 1974.

    Also visible was the black, white, green and red flag of President Assad's Ba'ath Party. The photos were taken from the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights, which overlooks Quneitra city.

    Uniformed men walk near a building with Syrian and Ba'ath Party flags in Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, as seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, July 26, 2018
    © REUTERS / Ammar Awad
    Uniformed men walk near a building with Syrian and Ba'ath Party flags in Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, as seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, July 26, 2018

    Syrian troops and their allies have made headway against militants in Quneitra province, much of which remains occupied by Israel, following successful operations against militants in neighboring Daraa province. Earlier this month, non-Islamist militants in Daraa began switching sides, surrendering or evacuating to northern Syria in a deal brokered by the Russian Center for Reconciliation.

    The Syrian Army continues to fight Daesh* (ISIS) in the Yarmouk Basin in neighboring Daraa province.

    Tensions over the strategic Golan Heights escalated in recent weeks amid the Syrian military's efforts to free the country's south from militant groups. Israel occupied much of Quneitra province in 1967 and formally annexed it in 1982. Amid the Syrian Army's latest operations, Tel Aviv has voiced concerns that Damascus may violate the 1974 agreement, which demilitarized much of the Golan, or allow Hezbollah or Iranian forces to deploy there.

    *A Salafist terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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