Regime pounds south Syria after rebels say talks with Russian Federation 'fail'

Posted July 07, 2018

Jordan's foreign minister said on Monday that he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart over the conflict in Syria, where the latest government offensive in the country's south has displaced 270,000 people, according to a United Nations official.

The opposition was set to meet with a Russian delegation on Wednesday afternoon to deliver their decision on Moscow's proposal for a regime takeover of the rest of the south, a spokesman for the opposition's southern operations said. Our country has reached its maximum capacity.

Mr Safadi said his meeting with Sergey Lavrov would produce more understandings and would "take us more steps forward to contain this crisis and prevent more destruction".

For Thursday's meeting, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will report to the 15 Council members about the humanitarian situation in Daraa, which borders Jordan. A war monitor and a military media unit run by the government's ally Hezbollah said numerous other towns and villages had agreed to come back under Assad's rule.

Warfare in the southwest could risk a further escalation because of its proximity to Israel.

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The entire southwest is part of a "de-escalation zone" agreed upon a year ago by Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan.

Responding to Assad's statements, the USA state department said on June 14 that any government assault would "broaden the conflict" and threatened "firm and appropriate measures in response".

Rebels and residents say that a string of rebel towns have worked out their own surrender arrangements that have allowed the Russian military police to enter their towns and patrol neighbourhoods.

Washington has yet to respond to recent developments.

The opposition's chief negotiator in wider United Nations peace talks, Nasr al-Hariri, last week accused the USA of complicity in al-Assad's southwest offensive, saying U.S. silence could only be explained by "a malicious deal".

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He added that Syria calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners held in Israeli jails, chief among them is the Syrian Prisoners Sedqi al-Maqt and Amal Abu Saleh, who have been subjected to arbitrary detention, solitary confinement and torture after being subject to mock trials and malicious charges.

The first round of talks on Saturday prompted rebels to walk out, saying Russian terms amounted to a humiliating surrender.

Intensive air strikes targeting the towns of Sayda and Tafas in the countryside of Dara'a were reported following the failure of negotiations between rebels and the Russian side, according to Sky News Arabia.

The agency believes that the number of displaced people is likely to grow as fighting in the region continues.

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