Jordan army begins delivering aid to Syrians stranded near border

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A string of rebel-held locations in southern Syria passed into regime control Sunday as the government regained more ground under Russian-brokered deals, a war monitor said.

The Jordanian army has sent cross-border deliveries of aid to displaced people in Syria's southern province of Daraa, where Damascus is pressing an offensive to oust rebels, officials said.

The Daraa region, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has played a key role in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad since it began seven years ago, sparking a civil war.

With the "reconciliation" deals in Daraa, the regime has further chipped away at a U-shaped patch of territory controlled by the rebels in southern Syria.

Air raids continued in the meantime, said the monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as displaced people flocked to the border areas least likely to be hit and the United Nations warned about a humanitarian catastrophe. She said her office has received reports that Islamic State fighters, in control of the Yarmouk Basin area in the western part of Daraa governorate, are not allowing civilians to leave the areas.

The Syrian government promises that all Syrian territory will be liberated.

Israeli authorities in the Golan Heights have launched a campaign urging local residents to donate toys, games, and clothes to displaced Syrians near the northern border who fled bombardment by Syrian government forces.

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The fracture began after rebel negotiators with the Crisis Administration-an opposition body formed last week to participate in talks with the Syrian government-met with Russian representatives in the opposition-controlled city of Busra a-Sham in Daraa province's eastern countryside on Sunday evening to discuss the terms of a political settlement to end ongoing fighting there.

The entire southwest is part of a "de-escalation zone" agreed previous year by Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan.

Jabawi told The Associated Press that Russian Federation, a strong ally of President Bashar Assad's government, wants the rebels to hand over their weapons followed by a return of government forces to rebel-held areas.

"There are possibilities for doing a larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria and back into Iran, which would be a significant step forward", he said.

"It's inadmissible", a negotiator in the rebel-held part of Deraa city told Agence France-Presse.

Almost 100 civilians have been killed since the assault began on June 19 with airstrikes, rocket fire and crude barrel bombs. Both Jordan, which already hosts more than half a million Syrian refugees, and Israel, have said their borders will stay shut.

The war has been going Mr Assad's way since Russian Federation intervened on his side in 2015, when he held just a fraction of the country.

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