Daraa rebels agree ceasefire, as Syrian regime seizes border crossing

Daraa rebels agree ceasefire, as Syrian regime seizes border crossing
Opposition fighters agreed to Russia's ceasefire terms following days of unprecedented air strikes and barrel bombs targeting the southern Syrian province.
2 min read
06 July, 2018
Syrians walk carrying their belongs near Nassib border crossing [Getty]
Syrian rebels in Daraa said on Friday a ceasefire deal had been reached with regime ally Russia.

The deal allows both fighters and civilians in Daraa to settle their status with the regime under Russia's protection.

Rebels would if they chose be allowed to leave Daraa for another opposition stronghold in northwest Syria, rather than stay under Assad's rule.

Regime forces took control of a key route running along the border with Jordan, up to the Nassib border crossing, as part of Friday's agreement. 

The border point, which had remained in opposition hands, was one of the key targets of the regime's more than two-week offensive in southern Syria.

Its recapture is expected to bring renewed trade with neighbouring Jordan. 

Ibrahim Jabbawi, a spokesman for the rebels' southern operations, confirmed the agreement on a ceasefire, the surrender of heavy weapons and the rebel handover of the frontier road with Jordan.

A key ally of Damascus, Moscow has been brokering talks for the negotiated surrender of rebels in areas of southern Syria bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The negotiations collapsed on Wednesday, ushering in a day-long volley of air strikes, barrel bombs and missiles that ultimately pressured rebels to return to the table.

They resumed talks at around midday on Friday. Rebels have walked away from negotiations in the past if they deem the terms too tough. 

Meanwhile, rebels and a jihadist group that pledged allegiance to Islamic State control part of Quneitra province located along the border with Israeli-occupied Golan.

Israel struck a Syrian village in Quneitra on Friday, causing no casualties, after a shell launched from there landed in the buffer zone, the Israeli military said.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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