Syria rebels mull tough Russian terms for southern handover

Displaced Syrians wait in a makeshift camp to cross the Jordanian border

Syrian rebel negotiators began a new round of talks with Russian officers on Tuesday over a peace deal in southern Syria under which they would hand over weapons and allow Russian military police to enter rebel-held towns.

"I look forward to a frank discussion to discuss how to arrive at a ceasefire as soon as possible", Safadi said.

Jordan and Israel have said their borders would remain closed, even as tens of thousands of Syrians flee the government offensive.

The Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC) said Russian Federation refused that Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed militias withdraw from captured areas in order to let displaced people pass through.

But it is simultaneously brokering talks with rebel towns for negotiated surrenders in a carrot-and-stick strategy that Russian Federation and the regime have successfully used in the past.

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Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country's seven-year war, which started with anti-government protests in 2011.

The area is also a "de-escalation zone", as agreed by Jordan, the United States and Russian Federation previous year to reduce fighting.

Malkawi said the United Nations was awaiting the "right time" to begin distributing aid in accordance with the world body's working principles.

Rebels would hand over heavy weapons but would keep the rest until a "real political process" had begun.

This Sunday, July 1, 2018 photo provided by Nabaa Media, a Syrian opposition media outlet, shows Jordanian soldiers standing guard as people who fled from Daraa stand behind the barbed wires at the Syria-Jordan border.

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The refugees are heading to the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but neither country is willing to accept them.

The number of displaced has multiplied in the past week, despite talks over the weekend between rebel Free Syrian Army groups and Russian Federation to cede territory.

However, shelling and battles continued in other areas in the western countryside of Daraa, according to the observatory report.

Syrian armed opposition said on Wednesday that talks with Russian Federation aimed at a comprehensive cease-fire in Deraa, and Quneitra, in southern Syria, had failed.

And regime forces would take over the Nasib border crossing with Jordan as well as deploy along the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

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"A new expanded negotiating committee that represents all the south has been formed to reach an agreement to spare innocent lives and ensure the safety of civilians and fighters", said a statement by the central operations room in the south, representing the key rebel factions in that region.

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