Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Jordanian foreign minister tells Russia ceasefire needed in southern Syria

Jordanian foreign minister tells Russia ceasefire needed in southern Syria

Jordan has kept its border firmly sealed, insisting it can not handle any more than the 650,000 registered Syrian refugees it already houses, and has instead sent aid into its war-torn neighbour.

Following talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi, who arrived in Moscow on a working visit, Lavrov said the USA can rarely separate terrorists and other foreign-backed opposition militants in Syria's southern de-escalation zone.

The Jordanian diplomat, Ayman Safadi, said he will head to Moscow on Tuesday and added that he was confident his meeting with Sergey Lavrov would produce more understandings and lead to "more steps forward to contain this crisis and prevent more destruction".

Government forces have been waging a renewed assault against rebel fighters in the country's south west.

It was their last day to consider the terms, the spokesman for the rebels' southern operations said, before meeting the Russian delegation on Wednesday afternoon.

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

"The talks with the Russian enemy in Bosra al-Sham have failed due to their insistence on handing over heavy weapons", Abu Shaima, a spokesman of the central operations room representing main Free Syrian Army factions negotiating with the Russians told Reuters.

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It included a ceasefire, the army's withdrawal from towns it had already taken, and safe passage to other opposition territory for rebels or civilians who did not want to live under regime control. Displaced families could return with guarantees by Russian military police.

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

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said the Russian proposal demands the rebels in Daraa to surrender their heavy and medium-ranged weapons while keeping the light arms.

As the humanitarian situation at the border worsens, some Jordanians have called on the government to let Syrians into the country, with the hashtag "open the borders" trending on Twitter and users pledging to "share our bread" with those seeking safety.

"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", said HRW's Lama Fakih.

World powers have criticized the operation for violating a ceasefire announced previous year by Washington, Amman and Moscow, but they have not managed to halt the blitz.

Internally displaced people from Deraa province are gathered near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in Quneitra, Syria, June 29.

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