The Syrian regime has responded to recent rebel gains in the south with a wave of airstrikes of unprecedented accuracy, suggesting precision-guided bombs are being used against western- and Gulf-backed opposition forces.

Dozens of attacks were carried out last week in southern Syria, hitting buildings used by rebels as headquarters for their operations in the region.

On Friday there were 14 airstrikes.

Previous attacks relied on unguided munitions – “old fashioned dumb” bombs, rather than weapons aimed by sophisticated laser or radar targeting – and were largely inaccurate, hitting civilians more often than rebel forces. […]