Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Syrian troops march south as UN warns of catastrophe

Syrian troops march south as UN warns of catastrophe

But Mr Assad set his sights on regaining full control of the provinces after defeating rebels in the Eastern Ghouta region outside the capital Damascus in April.

Daraa province, home to an estimated 750,000 civilians, comprises the largest section of Syria's rebel-held southwest, now one of the last two remaining opposition strongholds in the country.

Zeid, a Jordanian prince, said there is a grave risk that the intensified fighting will see many civilians trapped, caught between government forces on the one hand and rebels and members of the Islamic State group on the other.

Russia's intervention in Syria has drawn scrutiny. State TV broadcast scenes of what they said were locals celebrating the army's arrival in the formerly rebel-held town of Ibta and said rebels turned in their weapons.

As many as 11,000 refugees had already reached the Israeli border fence on the Golan Heights on Sunday, judging it the safest place to avoid Syrian air force raids.

Israel and Jordan say they will not let refugees in. Numerous opposition areas that have been taken by state forces in recent days were taken as a result of local groups negotiating their own deals with the state with no involvement from rebel forces.

It would also allow the reopening of the Naseeb border crossing with Jordan and the resumption of trade across the frontier.

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Filmmaker Karan Johar and Indian former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar along with his wife Anjali Tendulkar also graced the ceremony. Akash is Mukesh and Nita Ambani's eldest son and Shloka Mehta is diamantaire Russell Mehta and Mona Mehta's daughter.

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri has decried "U.S. silence" over the offensive and said only a "malicious deal" could explain the lack of a US response.

The opposition's chief negotiator in wider U.N. peace talks, Nasr al-Hariri, last week accused the United States of complicity in Assad's southwest offensive, saying American silence could only be explained by "a malicious deal".

Syrian rebel spokesman Ibrahim Jabawi, rejecting the Russian terms for a deal, said: "The talks collapsed because the Russians insisted on their conditions that want us to surrender".

At least 270,000 people have fled their homes in south-western Syria since the military launched an assault on rebel-held areas two weeks ago, the United Nations says.

At least 25 civilians died in Russian airstrikes on rebel-held towns in southern Syria on Friday, the bloodiest day yet of the Assad regime's offensive in Daraa.

The agreements Sunday covered four villages and the town of Bosra al-Sham, meaning that regime forces were now within 7 kilometres (4 miles) of the Jordanian border, the Britain-based Observatory said.

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