Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Omar Abu Laila, a Europe-based opposition activist originally from Syria's eastern province, said Saturday that Islamic State fighters are now once again in full control of the town.
On Saturday, US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, affirmed joint efforts to stabilize the war-torn Arab country as the foreign-backed militancy dies down. To put an end to the war, U.S. and Russian presidents met in Vietnam.
"There is no military solution to the conflict in Syria", according to the statement. Had it not been for the Russian air cover, the Iranian militias would not have been able to advance; rather, they would have faced nearly certain defeat. "The ultimate political solution to the conflict must be forged through the Geneva process" under United Nations resolutions.
On Saturday, Israel shot down a Syrian unmanned aircraft that it said tried to infiltrate Israeli airspace from neighboring Syria.
The drone was intercepted by a Patriot missile in the demilitarised zone between the Israeli-and Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan, a military spokeswoman said in a statement.
In September, Israel's military shot down what it said was an Iranian-made drone operated by Hezbollah on a reconnaissance mission over the Golan. It thought that the civil war served its interests - a sectarian swamp that would involve Hezbollah and Iranian forces against Daesh, and they all must have lost a significant number of their forces and fighters during the past three years.
Israel opposes any permanent presence in Syria by archenemy Iran and its Hezbollah allies, especially near the Israeli border. Israel has also been providing medical treatment to the extremist militants wounded in Syria. Israel has been closely watching Iran's involvement in the war in neighboring Syria.
Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of the Syrian war, but officials have acknowledged carrying out dozens of airstrikes on suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah. We see the Syrian government as responsible for any such violations, and we call on it to restrain the forces that operate in the area.
Satellite maps, published recently, show how Iran is establishing small military bases that extend from the suburbs in southern Damascus to Golan, not to mention military gatherings, which the Lebanese party Hezbollah established in other posts in Syria.
Information for this article was contributed by Ilya Arkhipov, Nick Wadhams and Natasha Doff of Bloomberg News; and by staff members of The Associated Press.