Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Jordan to talk to Russia as Syria fighting displaces 270,000

Displaced Syrians from the Daraa province fleeing shelling by pro-government forces wait in a makeshift camp to cross the Jordanian border near the town of Nasib southern Syria Syria: United Nations says number of displaced in south-west has reached 270,000
Ellis Copeland | 07 July, 2018, 01:41

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi will visit Moscow today, where he will discuss the situation in Syria with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Syrians fleeing the fighting and heading towards Jordan have been denied entry, with authorities there saying they do not have the resources to deal with more refugees.

But the observatory said Monday that some rebel groups accepted the proposal while others, mainly the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, otherwise known as the Levant Liberation Committee, has rejected the proposal.

The rising numbers - more than 270,000 according to the United Nations - were met with alarm in Jordan, where the government has said it can not accept any more refugees.

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.

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

The refugees are heading to the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but neither country is willing to accept them.

The United Nations has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the southwest caused by the fighting that erupted after a Russian-backed army offensive to recapture rebel-held southern Syria.

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For Thursday's meeting, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will report to the 15 Council members about the humanitarian situation in Daraa, which borders Jordan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed on Wednesday that the battle against terrorists to continue in Syria's de-escalation zones agreed upon by US, Russia and Jordan.

The offensive resumed against opposition forces Wednesday evening by the Syrian government and Russian military after negotiations failed to resolve the impasse between the two sides earlier in the day. The opposition wanted to surrender them in stages after tens of thousands of displaced people returned home, he said.

It accused some actors of trying to secure personal interests through the agreements.

Fierce battles were still ongoing around Daraa city, near the Jordanian border, where the army had repeatedly failed to capture a disused air base, rebels said. Displaced families could return with guarantees by Russian military police.

The hand-over process in Busra al-Sham is expected to be completed on Tuesday, said SANA.

Men who defected from Syria's armed forces or who did not complete their compulsory service could regularise their status with the regime within six months.

"The time has come for the conscience of humanity to wake up after the greatest crime in history is being committed against the Syrian people", he said in a statement on Sunday.

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