Syrian opposition calls for end to attacks on Daraa

Syrian opposition calls for end to attacks on Daraa

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.

At least eight battered rebel-held towns in southern Syria on Saturday returned to regime control under Russian-brokered deals after almost two weeks of bombardment, a Britain-based monitor said.

The U.N. said thousands of people are fleeing the fighting but warned civilians caught in the violence are likely to be trapped in the governorate because Jordan has closed its border, cutting off their main escape route.

The onslaught has sparked fears of a re-run of the offensives a year ago against the rebel enclaves of Aleppo and eastern Ghouta, including deadly bombardments followed by a retaking of territory and an accord to evacuate rebels from the areas. "The moment one of them is out, the regime disappears", he said.

Israel and Jordan - which already hosts over 666,000 United Nations registered refugees - say they will not let refugees in.

But many residents of opposition towns worry that a deal struck with Russian Federation would only be violated later on, said Daraa activist Omar Hariri. Israel has sent humanitarian aid across the border for several years. So far, the US has remained silent in the face of a breach, and rebels are accusing them of making a "malicious deal" to remain silent.

Since June 19, Russia-backed regime forces have ramped up bombardment against opposition fighters in southern Syria as Damascus pushes to retake the area.

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"The (rebels') negotiating team refused to surrender and refused to accept the Russian conditions".

Jordan has delivered aid for the second day running to displaced Syrians at its border in a unilateral compromise as Amman keeps a key crossing sealed.

The opposition said the negotiations first failed because of the strict Russian demands but Jordan, which is concerned over battles erupting on its northern borders, intervened afterwards and mediate to reach a ceasefire.

Insurgent negotiators and a spokesman said a six-member civilian and military committee of the southern rebels held a preliminary meeting along the administrative borders of neighboring Sweida province.

In recent days, government forces have gained new ground, bisecting rebel-held territories in Daraa's east and west and severing their supply lines.

The Observatory said at least 46 civilians, including 15 children, have been killed since the offensive began, including the victims of Thursday's airstrike.

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