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7 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Syria rebels say close to deal with Russia on south

AFP
Syria rebels say close to deal with Russia on south
Smoke rises above rebel-held areas of the city of Daraa during reported airstrikes by Syrian regime forces on Thursday. Waves of air strikes pounded rebel-held areas of southern Syria after the failure a day earlier of Russian-brokered talks to end the offensive in Daraa province, which has killed dozens and forced tens of thousands from their homes. AFP photo

BEIRUT: Rebels in southern Syria said on Friday they were close to reaching a deal with regime ally Russia including a ceasefire and the handover of some territory, reports AFP.

A meeting between rebel and Russian negotiators was still continuing on Friday afternoon with no confirmation of a final agreement.

But its broad outlines were described to AFP by two spokesmen for the joint opposition command in the south.

Hussein Abazeed said a ceasefire would take hold in the southern province of Daraa, known as the “cradle” of Syria’s uprising.

“Rebels will hand over their heavy-duty weapons in stages in exchange for the regime withdrawing from four towns” it had recently recaptured, said Abazeed.

Government forces would then take control of a key route running along the border with Jordan, up to the Nassib border crossing.

“The Nassib crossing will come under a Syrian civil administration, with Russian supervision,” said Abazeed.

The border point, which has remained in opposition hands, is one of the key targets of the government’s more than two-week offensive in southern Syria.

Recapturing it could bring renewed trade with neighbouring Jordan.

Abazeed said the preliminary deal also provided for the safe transfer of at least 6,000 people, including rebels and civilians, to the northwestern province of Idlib.

According to rebel sources, Moscow had previously rejected a phased surrender of heavy arms and any population transfers.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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