Jordan to hold talks with Russian Federation over Syria

Cheryl Sanders
July 7, 2018

The rebels said the talks had failed on Saturday afternoon but the process has since been revived after Jordan stepped in.

Another rebel spokesman, Ibrahim al-Jabawi, said the talks did not reach any conclusion.

The army's offensive follows the capitulation of rebel enclaves near Homs and Damascus, including eastern Ghouta, which was recaptured after a scorched-earth assault that killed over a thousand civilians and laid waste to several towns.

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

Opposition activists reported more violence in the southern province of Daraa on Tuesday, saying that government forces bombarded towns and villages in the province. Displaced families could return with guarantees by Russian military police.

"The Russian insistence on attempting to impose conditions, their unreadiness to stop the air strikes during negotiations, all this gives us more reason for a lack trust and justified fear", Adnan Masalmeh, a coordinator of an opposition committee steering the negotiators told Reuters news agency.

Moscow has used tough deadlines in the past with opposition negotiators but has extended them at times.

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.

Air raids meanwhile intensified, said the monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as displaced people flocked to the border areas least likely to be hit.

Both countries have kept their borders closed despite mounting calls by rights groups to let Syrians escape to safety.

A week ago the worldwide organisation said that 160,000 people had been displaced.

On Thursday, Amman expressed readiness to help the United Nations assist displaced Syrians, but without going so far as to open its border.

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

Residents and displaced Daraa natives gathered in front of United Nations offices in a rebel-held town in Quneitra province to protest global inaction.

The UN estimates that between 270,000 and 330,000 Syrians have fled Daraa and the surrounding area since 19 June in response to ongoing bombings.

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi held talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov earlier on Wednesday, and said a humanitarian catastrophe risked unfolding in southern Syria if there were no ceasefire.

Other reports by iNewsToday