Saturday 20 October 2018
News ID: 54959
Publish Date: 10 July 2018 - 21:42
BEIRUT (Dispatches) -- Lebanese allies of the Syrian government are trying to broker deals between the administration of President Bashar al-Assad and its opponents, according to Asharq al-Awsat.
The compromise deals would include Syrian and Russian guarantees that those involved would not be arrested, although they would still be subject to military service, the Saudi newspaper reported.
Many of the wanted individuals fled to Lebanon from Rif Dimashq between 2011 and 2013 and are thought to number in the hundreds.
The deal is reported to be negotiated between Zafer al-Nakhlawi, acting on behalf of those in Lebanon, and the office of Maher al-Assad, the brother of the Syrian leader.
Al-Nakhlawi told Asharq al-Awsat that settling the situation of the government opponents "will encourage others who do not have security files preventing their return to go back home”.
Anders Pedersen, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jordan, has confirmed a decrease in the number of displaced Syrians on the Jordanian-Syrian border as Amman allows the wounded, the sick and those in need of medical care to cross into the country following a UN request, the al-Ghad newspaper has reported.
"There are currently about 150 to 200 people at the border point of Naseeb-Jaber, mostly men,” he added.
Pedersen said that the UN was unable to determine the overall number of displaced persons now in southern Syria but that there were still vulnerable people who needed help and that UN agencies needed permission to cross the border to assist them.
Syrian troops are poised to snuff out sedition in the city where it began more than seven years ago, as terrorists said on Tuesday they were seeking to withdraw with Russian guarantees.
Government forces have seized most of Dara’a province in the campaign that got under way last month and on Monday encircled terrorist-held parts of Dara’a city and seized the entire Jordanian frontier, which was once in militant hands.
Assad, whose control was reduced to a fraction of Syria in 2015, now holds most of the country, with crucial help from Russia and Iran.
Dara’a city was the scene of the first major anti-Assad riots in March 2011, which spiraled into a war now estimated to have killed half a million people.
The conflict has driven over 11 million people from their homes, with some 5.6 million Syrian refugees in neighboring states and many more in Europe.
Government forces began advancing against rebels in Dara’a province last month. Heavily outgunned, they surrendered quickly in some places.  
Dara’a terrorists last week agreed to lay down arms and cease fire in a deal brokered by Russia. Syrian and Russian forces then took control of the main crossing with Jordan.
Militant leaders from Dara’a city met Russian officers in the town of Busra al-Sham on Tuesday, said a rebel official, Abu Shaima. "The emphasis will be on the forced displacement”, he said, referring to the demand for safe passage to the opposition-held north.
The militants were "completely besieged and all the cards are in the hand of the Russian guarantor”, said Abu Jihad, another rebel official.
A pro-Syrian government newspaper, al-Watan, said "the coming hours will be decisive on the level of ending the chapter of terrorism in Dara’a city”.
The north and much of the east however remain outside the government control and the presence of U.S. and Turkish forces in those areas will complicate further advances for Damascus.
In the Dara’a town of Um al-Mayaden, retaken by the army, people chanted in support of Assad and the army during a government-organized trip on Tuesday, a witness said.  
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said army helicopters dropped leaflets on the terrorist-held town of al-Haara saying "there is no place for militants”.
The government offensive is expected to turn next to nearby terrorist-held areas of Quneitra province, at the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
 




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