Jordan's PM visits border shut to displaced Syrians

UN Warns of Humanitarian Catastrophe if Fighting Escalates in Daraa, Syria

Rebels remain in control of parts of the provincial capital Deraa City, where the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

As Damascus regained more ground under Russian-brokered deals, a string of insurgent-held areas came under regime control on Sunday, according to a group monitoring the conflict in Syria.

Israel has deployed artillery and armoured reinforcements along its northern border with Syria, the Israel Defence Forces said on Sunday, as tens of thousands of Syrians fled towards its borders and those of Jordan.

Throssell said several government checkpoints in parts of Daraa reportedly are extorting hundreds of dollars from civilians to allow them to pass.

The deal being discussed does not include opposition and rebel territory in adjacent Quneitra province, bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the spokesman said.

The transfer on Friday night was the product of communication between local Syrian leaders and contacts in Israel, who arranged to take the injured into the Jewish state for treatment.

Clashes continued between opposition factions and pro-government forces throughout the day on Monday, with the heaviest fighting concentrated near the town of Nawa in Daraa's western countryside, a rebel commander told Syria Direct on Monday morning.

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Jumana Ghunaimat, spokeswoman for Jordan's government, briefed reporters after the prime minister's visit, defending Jordan's position not to open the border to the fleeing refugees.

"The Russian insistence on attempting to impose conditions, their unreadiness to stop the air strikes during negotiations, all this gives us more reason for lack of trust and justified fear", said Adnan Masalmeh, a coordinator of an opposition committee steering the negotiators.

Speaking by telephone from Jordan Jabawi said that the meetings with the Russians took place in an area near where the provinces of Daraa and Sweida meet.

Russian efforts to impose a broad ceasefire in south-west Syria broke down at the weekend, prompting the Syrian regime to undertake fresh air raids.

At least 270,000 people have fled their homes in south-western Syria since the military launched an assault on rebel-held areas two weeks ago, the United Nations says.

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Nasr Al Hariri has decried "US silence" over the offensive and said only a "malicious deal" could explain the lack of a U.S. response.

Almost 100 civilians have been killed since the assault began on June 19 with airstrikes, rocket fire and crude barrel bombs.

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