Fighting between Syrian gov't, opposition escalates ahead of ceasefire

Fighting between opposition and government forces in Darayya, a suburb of Damascus in Syria, is still escalating ahead of this weekend's deadline for a ceasefire set by Moscow and Washington.
As of Wednesday, Syrian government forces said that they had recovered the southern part of Darayya, a suburban town located eight kilometers southwest of Damascus. However, sporadic fights continue around the area, with intensive gunfire and explosions still heard across the embattled town.
Abandoned rocket shells, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) made from gas cylinders, and fully loaded water barrels were found at a seized stronghold of the opposition forces, suggesting they had retreated hastily from the fight.
Officers from the Syrian government said that evidence indicates that among the opposition forces fighting in Darayya was the al-Nusra Front, a terrorist organization designated by the United States and United Nations.
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