Southern Syria Fighting Creates New Refugee, Border Crises; Israel Sends Aid

04 July, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Jason Torres
  • UN Warns of Humanitarian Catastrophe if Fighting Escalates in Daraa, Syria

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are deployed in al-Ghariya al-Gharbiya in Deraa province.

A string of rebel-held locations in southern Syria passed into regime control Sunday as the government regained more ground under Russian-brokered deals, a war monitor said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes pummeled rebel-held areas with as many as 240 raids, with crude barrel bombs dropped throughout the day.

Eastern Ghouta is in that region and was taken by an assault that killed over 1,000 civilians and decimated several towns.

The UN has warned that more than 750,000 lives are at risk in the south, which is meant to be protected by a ceasefire put in place previous year by Russia, Jordan, and the United States.

"We received so many refugees and helped them and we will continue helping them with everything we have", said resident Awad al-Sirhan.

A team representing the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) rebels was now holding talks with Russian officers in the town of Busra al Sham, Ibrahim al Jabawi, the spokesman for the central operations room representing FSA negotiators told Reuters. Two ambulances carrying injured Syrians crossed into Jordan. Numerous opposition areas that have been taken by state forces in recent days were taken as a result of local groups negotiating their own deals with the state with no involvement from rebel forces.

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Thousands of civilians are reported to have fled their homes towards areas in western Daraa, including Nawa and Jassem, and towards the Jordanian border, many of whom remain stranded in the desert area with no access to basic food and water needs.

The Russians were not ready to listen to our demands.

The Jordanian army began delivering humanitarian aid to thousands of displaced Syrians who took shelter near its border when major fighting broke out in southern Syria this month, a government spokeswoman said on Saturday.

However, the Russian negotiators insisted on terms applied in other former rebel-held areas, where insurgents either accepted the return of state rule or left for opposition territory in the north-west along with their families.

Syria is pushing south in an offensive against rebels in the southern Daraa Province, which borders Israel and Jordan.

One strike killed at least 10 people including five children in the town of al-Sahwa, east of Deraa, it said, raising to 126 the number of civilians killed in the offensive since fighting escalated on June 19.

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Nasr Al Hariri has decried "US silence" over the offensive and said only a "malicious deal" could explain the lack of a United States response.

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