‘Jordan to keep border closed to Syrias displaced

Jordan to hold talks with Russia over Syria's Deraa province

Jordan to hold talks with Russia over Syria's Deraa province

Talks in Syria between opposition forces and Russian regime allies broke down Wednesday with no further sessions having been set, according to rebel spokesperson Ibrahim Jabbawi.

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.

The violence has displaced between 270,000 and 330,000 people, according to the United Nations, many south to the border with Jordan or west near Israel's Golan Heights.

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.

"Israel has been helping Syrian refugees in the Golan [Heights] area", Lesch says.

Also, the rebels will hoist the Syrian government flag over the government buildings as a prelude to having the government institutions back to operate in the rebel-held areas in Daraa.

The Syrian government has repeatedly accused Israel of backing the rebels in southern Syria, including in Daraa, the nearby countryside of Sweida province and in the province of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It added that two weeks of fighting have killed 123 civilians.

More than a dozen towns and villages have agreed to a regime takeover in recent days, doubling the area under government control in the main province of Daraa to 60 percent since operations began on June 19.

But the talks, in the town of Bosra al-Sham, whose Roman citadel is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, collapsed as the insurgents rejected proposed terms for their surrender, a rebel spokesman said.

Both countries have kept their borders closed to those fleeing the violence, 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.

The UN on Tuesday urged Jordan to keep its border open following the largest population displacement in southern Syria since the start of the war.

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

The United Nations Security Council will hold a closed-door emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the offensive.

Foreign minister Ayman Safadi told Russian Federation that a ceasefire was needed in southern Syria, calling the situation a cause for "serious concern".

Israel's military said it deployed additional tank and artillery forces on the Syrian front on Sunday as a precaution given intensified fighting over the border between the Syrian army and rebels.

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