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Syrian army showcases Western-made weapons seized from rebels in Daraa

Syrian soldiers pose for a photo with a woman during a pro-Syrian army rally in the town of Eastern Ghariyeh in the eastern countryside of Daraa, Syria, on July 4, 2018. The Syrian army on Wednesday showcased Western-made weapons confiscated from the rebels during the nearly two-week-long battles in the southern province of Daraa. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
 
DARAA, Syria, July 4 -- The Syrian army on Wednesday showcased Western-made weapons confiscated from the rebels during the nearly two-week-long battles in the southern province of Daraa, according to Xinhua.
 
In the town of Izra'a in the countryside of Daraa, the confiscated weapons were put on the ground, where soldiers showed reporters various types of ammunition.
 
Among the weapons were U.S.-made TOW missile launchers and other Western-made military gear, including anti-tank launchers, anti-aircraft launchers and mine-sweepers.
 
Some of the weapons were brand new in their boxes while others have been used.
 
Additionally, several tanks seized by the army from the battles were put on display to prove that the rebels have been heavily backed by Western powers.
 
A military officer, who asked not to be named, told Xinhua that the displayed ammunition and weapons are only part of what the rebels had left behind in the battles of Daraa, mainly in the towns of Ghaliyeh, al-Gharbiyeh, Sora, Alma and Mlaihet al-Atash.
 
"These weapons have exposed their lies as they are mostly Western-made, including U.S.-made rocket launchers," he said.
 
The army in Daraa is fighting various rebel groups, including al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and militants allied with the Islamic State (IS), the officer pointed out.
 
The battles in Daraa have lasted nearly two weeks, as part of the army's resolve to dislodge the rebels from the key province near the Jordanian border and from nearby areas in the countryside of Sweida and Quneitra in southern Syria.
 
So far, the army has succeeded in capturing several towns and villages in the eastern countryside of Daraa, while managing to enter other towns without a fight as some rebel groups accepted reconciliation deals with the government.
 
The reconciliation deals demanded the rebels hand over their heavy weapons to the army in exchange for a government pardon for those who abandon insurgency.
 
However, some ultra-radical groups rejected the reconciliation deal and continued to fight.
 
Activists say the army's recent gains in Daraa, either through reconciliations or battles, are estimated to have increased the government-controlled areas in Daraa to 58 percent of the entire province.
 
The military officer told Xinhua that the battles will continue until Daraa and other rebel-controlled areas across Syria are all liberated.