Syrian army troops entered Deraa al Balaad, the birthplace of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, for the first time since it lost control over the area a decade ago, residents, the army, and former rebels said.
Army units set up at least nine checkpoints across the city under a Russian-brokered deal between the army and rebels that was agreed upon this week.
The government said state authority was finally established to restore order and security in an area where the first peaceful protests against Assad family rule broke out in 2011 before security forces cracked down and the unrest developed into civil war.
Pro-Iran army units had for almost two-month bombarded the area in several failed attempts to take it and laid siege to neighborhoods that had over 50,000 people, preventing food and medicine from getting through. They also opened a corridor for many civilians to flee.