World News

More than 270,000 displaced by southern Syria fighting

More than 270,000 displaced by southern Syria fighting

Jordan on Sunday mediated in a new round of talks between rebels in the southwest and Assad's main ally Russian Federation, seeking a wider truce in the area to avert more bloodshed and another wave of displaced people near its border.

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".

The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the Syrian army's Russian-backed offensive against rebel groups in the southwest of the country.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday there were "divisions among rebel groups" over whether to agree to the terms proposed by Russian Federation.

Moscow has been backing a two-week offensive by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces against the opposition in the southern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra.

But other opposition bodies have rejected the deals.

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

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

The violence has pushed waves of terrified civilians out of their homes at a shocking rate, the United Nations said.

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.

Jordan, which has taken in more than half a million displaced Syrians since the war began, and Israel have said they will not open their borders to refugees.

"Hundreds of thousands" of people fleeing the violence have converged on the Jordan-Syria border, Throssell said, going on to urge countries of the region to open their borders to refugees.

Instead, Safadi said Jordan is delivering aid to the displaced and has deployed field hospitals near the border.

An opposition source from the south with close knowledge of the talks said Russia's piecemeal approach to the deals had hamstrung the negotiating committee. "We were not party to any agreement and we never will be", said the statement, accusing those who agreed to such handovers of trying to selfishly secure personal interests.

"Today will be the last round - either the rebels agree to these terms, or the military operations resume", the source said.

Rebels would hand over heavy weapons but would keep the rest until a "real political process" had begun. Displaced families could return with guarantees by Russian military police.


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