Hezbollah chief claims Syrian regime has won the civil war

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed the Syrian government has won the civil war after six years, the Al-Akbar news agency reported Tuesday.

“We have won in the war [in Syria],” Nasrallah said. “What remains are scattered battles.”

Speaking at a religious event, Nasrallah said that opponents of Assad have failed and now “the path of the other project has failed and wants to negotiate for some gains,” according to an English translation of his comments reported by the Middle East Eye website.

Lebanese terror group Hezbollah has been fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the conflict with support from Iran and Russia.

Nasrallah recently revealed he had traveled to Damascus for meetings with Assad.

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and is estimated to have claimed more than 400,000 lives.

Also Tuesday, separate Russian and US-led coalition air strikes killed 28 civilians in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province, where rival offensives against the Islamic State group are under way, a monitor said.

The province lies along Syria’s border with Iraq and is seen as a strategic prize by both Russian-backed Syrian troops and an alliance of Arab and Kurdish forces supported by the US-led air coalition.

Deadly coalition raids struck the village of Al-Shahabat, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Coalition air strikes killed 12 members of a single family, among them five children, in a village on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

He said fierce fighting between jihadists and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces was raging around IS-held Al-Shahabat, which lies around seven kilometres (four miles) away from the river.

The Euphrates slices across Deir Ezzor province diagonally.

Syrian government troops are fighting across the river on its western side as part of a separate assault that is backed by Moscow.

Russian air strikes on Tuesday hit a cluster of tents on the western banks of the Euphrates, killing “16 civilians including five children,” according to Abdel Rahman.

He said civilians had set up the tents on the edge of the Zaghir Shamiyah village after fleeing their homes fearing clashes.

The strikes follow three days of deadly suspected Russian raids in Deir Ezzor province that have killed dozens of civilians, according to the Observatory.

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