Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000 - U.N.

Jul 07, 2018, 01:39
Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000 - U.N.

Jordan and Israel have said their borders would remain closed, even as tens of thousands of Syrians flee the government offensive. Russian Federation has offered to halt its offensive if the rebels hand over the remaining territory.

The Security Council will hold an emergency meeting July 5 to discuss the Syria army's Russia-backed offensive against rebel groups.

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

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a state television correspondent and media run by Assad's Lebanese ally Hezbollah said insurgents in Bosra al Sham, east of the provincial capital Daraa had agreed to the deal and were handing over heavy weapons.

"The session ended. No future meetings have been set", Jabbawi told AFP.

The Jordanian diplomat, Ayman Safadi, said he will head to Moscow on Tuesday and added that he was confident his meeting with Sergey Lavrov would produce more understandings and lead to "more steps forward to contain this crisis and prevent more destruction".

Bombing by the Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation, has broken a months-long ceasefire in rebel-held areas of southwest Syria and displaced residents are becoming stranded in ad-hoc camps near the borders.

But Moscow roundly rejected the terms, the source said, and responded with a counter-proposal.

This comes as several towns have accepted to embark on a reconciliation process with the Syrian army in Daraa, while other towns have been retaken through military action.

The source had said before Wednesday's meeting that the rebels were expected to give their "final answer".

Moscow has used tough deadlines in the past with rebels but has sometimes extended them.

More than a dozen towns and villages have agreed to a regime takeover in recent days, doubling the area under government control in the main province of Daraa to 60 percent since operations began on June 19.

At least 330,000 people have recently fled Syria's southwestern city of Daraa to areas near the Jordanian border due to fierce attacks by Syrian regime forces, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch demanded both Jordan and Israel allow asylum seekers in.

"The abject refusal by Jordanian authorities to allow asylum seekers to seek protection not only goes against their global legal obligations, but against basic human decency", Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said.

That brought the number of civilians killed since the offensive began to more than 140, including children.

World powers have criticised the operation for violating a ceasefire announced past year by Washington, Amman and Moscow, but that has not halted the blitz.

The Syrian army is fighting the rebels, including the Islamic State (IS) and the Nusra Front, in the countryside of Daraa, as well as the in the countryside of the nearby province of Sweida and the Quneitra province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

In a statement Monday, the civilian half of the opposition's delegation said they had withdrawn from talks.

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