Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000 - U.N.

Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000 - U.N.

Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000 - U.N.

Jordan's foreign minister said on Monday that he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart over the conflict in Syria, where the latest government offensive in the country's south has displaced 270,000 people, according to a United Nations official.

"Russia has also repeatedly noted the need to remove all unilateral sanctions imposed by the Western countries against the Syrian Arab Republic, sanctions that prevent from ensuring normal economic, infrastructure conditions for return of refugees", the top Russian diplomat added.

Jordan and Israel have been urged to open their borders after a renewed offensive forced some 300,000 Syrians to flee their homes.

Because the USA is denying assistance to the remaining southwestern rebels, the region is likely to fall to Assad's forces and leave a solitary rebel stronghold in Syria's north.

The UN said last week 160,000 had been displaced as they fled heavy bombardment and mostly took shelter in villages and areas near the Israeli and Jordanian borders.

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 meeting followed an hours-long session on Tuesday, in which rebels proposed that the army withdraw from recaptured towns and grant fighters and civilians unwilling to live under regime control safe passage to rebel-held territory elsewhere.

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The air strikes targeted the towns of Tafas, northwest of the provincial capital Deraa, and Saida, to its east, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The talks with the Russian enemy in Bosra al-Sham have failed due to their insistence on handing over heavy weapons", Abu Shaima, a spokesman of the central operations room representing main Free Syrian Army factions negotiating with the Russians told Reuters.

"Today will be the last round - either the rebels agree to these terms, or the military operations resume", the source said.

The government simultaneously also opened negotiations with rebel factions through its ally Russian Federation, offering a halt to bombardment if rebels hand over territory.

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

The rebels said the talks had failed on Saturday afternoon but the process has since been revived after Jordan stepped in.

The Observatory said some rebel groups accepted to reconcile with the government after handing over their weapons while the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other ultra-radical groups have rejected to evacuate toward northern Syria.

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