Jordan to hold talks with Russian Federation over Syria's Deraa province
Jul 07 2018
Lavrov, meanwhile, said Moscow was helping Syria's army "convince" rebels to lay down their arms.
Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar Assad launched an offensive last month to regain the southwestern Deraa region, driving thousands of refugees toward neighboring Jordan and Israel.
And regime forces would take over the Nasib border crossing with Jordan as well as deploy along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Local groups in many towns seized by the army in recent days negotiated their own surrender deals independently of the main rebel operations, after heavy air raids. The opposition team was then persuaded by Jordan to go back to the negotiating table, diplomatic sources said.
According to the UN, Jordan hosts about 650,000 registered Syrian refugees and has said that it will not open its border for more to cross.
In a little more than a week the UN's numbers of displaced by the fighting in southern Syria has risen by nearly 100,000 with the United Nations refugee agency warning of a major humanitarian crisis ahead. It added that two weeks of fighting have killed 123 civilians.
At least 160,000 people have been displaced, the United Nations says, with a lot of them going to the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Until recently, the deal contained fighting in the southwest of Syria.
The situation threatens to repeat that of 2016, when some 60,000 internally displaced Syrians were stranded at the border with Jordan in a settlement inaccessible to any medical or humanitarian aid and controlled by exploitative criminal gangs.
The strategic area was ostensibly protected by a ceasefire agreed by the US, Jordan, and Russian Federation just under a year ago, but President Al Assad is dead-set on retaking it. Despite Washington's threats that it would respond to breaches of that arrangement, it has so far shown no sign of doing so.
Negotiations for settling the situation in Daraa have been ongoing between the Russian side, which is representing the Syrian government, and an array of rebel groups in that area.
But the talks, in the town of Bosra al-Sham, whose Roman citadel is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, collapsed as the insurgents rejected proposed terms for their surrender, a rebel spokesman said. Last week, rebels said it had told them not to expect any USA military support.
Lavrov said all Syria-related issues were likely to be discussed at the coming summit meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.