Turkey condemns Syria regime’s 'inhumane' assault on Daraa

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks

Jordan on Sunday mediated a new round of talks between rebels and Assad's main ally Russian Federation, seeking a wider truce in the area to avert more bloodshed and another wave of displaced people near its border.

The spike in violence over the past two weeks has forced around 160 000 people to flee their homes, according to initial United Nations estimates.

The Norwegian Refugee Council has asked Jordan to reopen its border but the country already hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and says it can't accept any more.

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 assault has so far focused on Deraa, not rebel-held parts of nearby Quneitra province in the Golan Heights which are more sensitive to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel will help Syrian refugees near the disputed Syria-Israel border, but will not allow them to enter Israel.

Russia-backed regime forces have been bombarding insurgents in southern Syria since June 19 in an effort to retake areas.

The strategic southwestern corner of Syria had been under a so-called de-escalation agreement reached between Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan in July of a year ago, but the truce has unraveled in recent weeks.

Despite Washington's threats that it would respond to breaches of that arrangement, it has shown no sign of doing so, and the opposition's top negotiator on Thursday accused it of having struck a "malicious deal" to stay silent.

State television broadcast live images from Dael of residents holding up posters of President Bashar al-Assad in front of the camera, and chanting slogans in support of the army.

The Observatory said the towns to return to government control also included Ibtaa, Western Ghariya, Um Walad and Eastern Karak.

Russian Federation has played a critical role in supporting Assad's two-week offensive with air power and negotiating local deals initially overseen by its military police.

Clashes between rebels and regime forces in the same area killed four opposition fighters, it said.

Syrian state media said earlier Saturday that more areas in Daraa province had been captured and in others rebels had agreed to hand over their weapons and reconcile with the government.

"These include essential foodstuffs and drinking water", she said, adding that aid had been distributed in the Daraa region across the border from the Jordanian town of Ramtha.



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