Looking for further verification, since, it’s SOHR reporting.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said around 25 strikes slammed into rebel-held towns in Daraa, a province in Syria's south that has faced escalating regime shelling in recent days ahead of an apparent ground assault.
"Intense Russian air strikes are hitting towns in Daraa's eastern countryside for the first time since the ceasefire was agreed in southern Syria last year," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Reuters Aman Jordan- Opposition reporting airstrikes
Russian jets struck an opposition held town in southwest Syria on Sunday, opposition sources said, in the first air cover provided by Moscow to an expanding Syrian army offensive to recapture the strategic area bordering Jordan and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.
Two tracking centres that monitor military aircraft movements recorded at least twenty strikes on Busra al Harir, northeast of Deraa city, two sources told Reuters.
Syrian government forces had so far made heavy use of artillery and rockets in the current assault, and Russian warplanes that were critical to the recovery of other rebel-held areas had not been deployed until now.
Syrian Army Gaining Ground
Syrian regime forces on Saturday made their first gains on the ground against rebel fighters in the southern province of Daraa after several days of intensified bombardment, a monitor said.Flashback: Pt.2- Syria MUST Take Back Daara: Washington Faces a Choice
Since Tuesday, regime troops have been ramping up shelling on opposition-held areas in Daraa's eastern countryside ahead of an apparent military offensive against rebels there.
"Regime troops made their first advance in the area since the military escalation on Tuesday, seizing the villages of Al Bustan and Al Shumariya in the eastern part of Daraa province," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The shelling and clashes are currently focused on a wedge of rebel territory between Daraa's eastern countryside and the western part of the neighbouring province of Sweida.
The army seems to want to split that wedge into a northern and southern section, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said, "to facilitate their operations and increase the pressure on rebel factions, allowing it to advance more quickly".
"Militarily speaking, the rebel-held southwest seems unlikely to be a difficult target to capture for the Syrian army, particularly if Russia provides air support for an offensive. Rebel territory can be cut at a few key junctures and then defeated in pieces. The government has also been engaging in talks with rebel-held towns across the southwest to make sure they don’t act when the Syrian military marches south.
The main deterrent to a Syrian military offensive had been the danger that the involvement of Iranian-backed militias would set off Israeli intervention.”
Will Israel Intervene?
"Syrian state news agency SANA also reported the advance, saying army units edged forwards against rebels in Daraa's east.
After securing the capital Damascus, Syrian troops have turned to the country's south, where rebels still hold a majority of the provinces of Daraa and Sweida.
Southern Syria is a particularly strategic zone: it borders both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and also lies close to Damascus"
I had read earlier today that there were 'intensive negotiations' taking place
"In an effort to avoid a deadly offensive, international powers are holding talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement for Syria's south.Negotiations were mentioned in the Flashback Pt2 post highlighted above
"All sides should seize the opportunity to negotiate a deal for the conditional return of the Syrian state to the south west and avert a military conclusion that, for all sides and the local population, would be a worse outcome," wrote the International Crisis Group think tank last week"
Syria Must Retake Daraa- It's not an option if Syria is to survive and thrive.
UPDATE # 1: Times of Israel
The Observatory said the warplanes used Saturday — based on type, location, munitions and flight patterns — had come from the Russian-operated Hmeimim base in coastal Syria.
The Golan is also home to thousands of Druze whose relatives live in Sweida, which has remained loyal to Assad.
Steady thud of strikes
“The Russian strikes started around 10:30pm local time (1930 GMT) and stopped after midnight,” said Ibrahim Mohammad, a media activist in the battered rebel town of Busr al-Harir in Daraa.
He said he and other residents had taken to their basements and bomb shelters as soon as they heard the planes, describing a steady thud of bombardment for nearly two hours.