Monday, 23 July, 2018

Syrian rebels lose string of southwest towns

The UN has estimated that 50,000 people have fled the embattled areas in southern Syria in recent days The UN has estimated that 50,000 people have fled the embattled areas in southern Syria in recent days
Gerardo Duncan | 04 July, 2018, 06:49

Government forces and their allies have captured the key city of Busr Al-Harir, as well as many towns in the eastern part of Daraa, including in the Lajat region.

"We help them this way better than opening the border because our country can not endure (more refugees) and the global community failed us" said Kamal al-Sirhan, an area resident who drummed up support from locals.

Meanwhile, a Jordanian government spokeswoman announced Saturday night that the army has begun to distribute humanitarian aid to the Syrians on the Syrian-Jordanian border.

The campaign has shattered a "de-escalation" deal negotiated by the United States, Russia and Jordan that had mostly contained fighting in the southwest since past year.

"So, the opposition forces have withdrawn from the deal", Jabawi said, adding that the Russian side offered the opposition forces to hand over the whole of the southern part of Syria to the regime forces.

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. Despite Washington's threats that it would respond to breaches of that arrangement, it has shown no sign of doing so, and the opposition's top negotiator on Thursday accused it of having struck a "malicious deal" to stay silent.

Since June 19, backed by its ally Russian Federation, the Damascus regime has carried out a deadly bombing campaign in southern Syria as it pushes to retake the strategic area bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan.

Syrian rebels meeting Russian officers in a southern Syrian town today said negotiations for a peace deal with the government ended in failure after they rejected Moscow's demands to surrender, their spokesman said.

The Israeli military said it took in six Syrians, including four young children, over the weekend for emergency medical treatment after their families were killed.

Amman says the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them.

"Whenever there is heavy bombardment on Daraa, it is an indicator that the Syrian regime [of President Bashar Assad] is recovering the rebels' strongholds in the central, northern and eastern parts of Syria", Ramtha resident Mohammad Abu Aqoul said. So far, about 100 civilians have been killed in air raids and shelling since June 19, it said.

Local websites reporting news about Ramtha claimed that dozens of mortar shells have lost their way into their area since the beginning of the attack on Daraa nearly two weeks ago.

Israeli officials said they can't possibly take in 160,000 refugees, but are trying to do everything possible to help them.

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