Civilian repercussions as rebels try to take Daraa city

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More than 50 regime barrel-bomb and conventional airstrikes pummeled rebel-held villages in Daraa province Tuesday after the launch of a renewed Southern Storm rebel offensive to wrest the provincial capital from regime control one day before, reported the pro-opposition “We are all Houran martyrs” news network on its Facebook page. “The rebels’ renewal of the Southern Storm offensive on Monday will only bring more regime air raids against rebel-held villages in Daraa,” Fursan al-Hourani, a correspondent with pro-opposition Umayya Media Center who moves around Daraa province, told Syria Direct on Wednesday. “They’ve already hit more than 15 villages so far,” he added. Aside from a series of airstrikes against the villages of Busra al-Harir and Sheikh Maskeen in the northern Daraa countryside, regime barrel bombs smashed into the village of Nasib, only 2km from the Jordanian border, killing at least 10 civilians, reported the pro-opposition Houran Independent Journalists media network on Facebook Tuesday. The beginning of the Southern Storm rebel offensive to capture Daraa’s provincial capital, which includes a number of Western and Gulf-backed rebel brigades, was first announced on June 24.