Accra, June 21,(dpa/GNA) - Some 12,500 people
have been displaced from their homes in the southern Syrian province of Daraa
in the past 48 hours for fear of an expected battle between government forces
and their allies against opposition fighters in the area.
The people who fled were from the eastern and north-eastern parts of Daraa, which witnessed heavy shelling and battles between government troops and opposition fighters, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
They moved to other areas inside the province, he added.
The watchdog said that six militia members were killed in the fighting. Eight civilians were also killed in the east and north-eastern parts of Daraa in artillery shelling in last 48 hours.
Iyad, an activist in Daraa's Bosr al-Hariri area, said that many women, children and elderly people have left the area in the past two days.
A rebel commander in Daraa, who goes by the name of Abu Abed al-Joulani, told dpa that "the battle will not be an easy ride" for the government troops.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to take over all opposition-held areas near the frontiers with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.