Over 320000 displaced by Syrian conflict

Jul 10, 2018, 00:39
Over 320000 displaced by Syrian conflict

'Daraa is hugely symbolic for Assad because it is the cradle of the Syrian revolution, and Nassib allows the Assad government to get the Jordanians invested in a return of the regime in the southwest through the benefits to Jordan from reopened trade with Syria, ' Heras said.

Latest reports pointed out that the Syrian army regained control of Nasib crossing on border with Jordan.

Rebel strongholds in southern Syria have been crumbling since the government launched a ground offensive on the area last month, under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

"More than 20,000 people have set off for home so far, heading to areas for which an accord has been reached in the southeastern Daraa countryside", he said.

They are the second batch of refugees from the Arsal area to return to Syria in a repatriation organized by the Lebanese General Security, which describes it as a voluntary return.

The rebels in southern Syria once received significant backing and support from the US that has receded and all but dried up over the past few years.

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The United Nations coordination office for humanitarian affairs said they had died in areas close to the Jordanian border due to "scorpion bites, dehydration and diseases transmitted through contaminated water".

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP news agency that hundreds of missiles and crude barrel bombs were unleashed by Syrian and Russian aircraft overnight through Thursday morning.

The UN has repeatedly pointed out that there are numerous reasons for refugees to remain outside the country and as such will not work to return Syrians to their country although it would assist those who wish to go.

On Wednesday, Syrian armed opposition said that talks with Russian Federation aimed at a comprehensive ceasefire in Deraa and Quneitra in southern Syria had broken down.

Although local communities in Syria have opened their doors to take in numerous displaced, most are forced to live in open spaces or in makeshift shelters that offer little safety and protection from the elements, he added.

Since Russia intervened on Mr Assad's side in Syria's conflict in 2015, the Damascus regime has notched up a series of victories against rebels and jihadists in the country.

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In a statement issued on Friday, July 6, the joint opposition operations room for southern Syria said rebels agreed to a deal that includes their "gradual" surrender of heavy and medium weapons.

There was no immediate comment from Jordan on the Syrian forces' recapture of Naseeb crossing.

The military's next target in the southern offensive appears to be the parts of nearby Quneitra province in rebel hands at the Golan frontier.

Assad's Iran-backed allies are also fighting in the campaign, defying Israeli demands they keep out of the border area.

The total number of people displaced by the offensive now stands at more than 320,000.

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