The Syrian military and Russian allies attacked rebel-held cities in southwestern Syria, carrying out more than 600 airstrikes of 15 hours on July 4-5.
This was reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
After a four-day break in large-scale bombing, intense air strikes resumed on July 4 after the failure of negotiations between rebel groups and Russian officers. The rebels promised to lay down their arms in exchange for regulating their status in a peace agreement, and Russia demands a derogatory capitulation.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies are fighting for the return of the southwest, one of the last strongholds of the rebels in Syria along with the region in the northwest bordering Turkey.
Assad’s two-week offensive, supported by Russian aviation, allowed it to occupy most of the rebel territory north-east of the provincial capital Deraa, when a number of cities surrendered.
The fighting and air strikes have already forced more than a quarter of a million people to flee their homes in southwestern Syria, the United Nations said.
Sweden and Kuwait convened on July 5 an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in southwestern Syria. The region is politically sensitive due to its location near Israel and Jordan and the existence of an “de-escalation” agreement there, agreed between the United States, Jordan, and an ally of the Syrian government of Russia.
Jordan, which has hosted more than half a million displaced Syrians since the start of the war, and Israel have stated that they will not open their borders to refugees.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly promised to return “every inch” of the parts of Syria bordering with Jordan and Israel, in particular the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The United States had previously threatened to take “appropriate measures” in response to a violation by the Syrian government of the ceasefire, but rebels said the United States told them not to wait for any American military support.
The son of the head of the ISIS died in Syrian Homs during a battle against Russian troops
The son of the leader of the Islamic State terrorist organization Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Husayf al-Badri, was killed in the Syrian province of Homs, Reuters reports citing the Islamist news channel.
According to the agency, he was killed in an operation against the Alawites and Russian troops at a thermal power plant in Homs.
The fate of the leader of the IG Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains unknown. Despite numerous reports of his liquidation, Islamists deny information about his death.
Reuters notes that “the wording on Tuesday’s statement implies that he is still alive.”
The last message on behalf of al-Baghdadi was published in September.
The number of refugees in southern Syria has increased to 270 thousand people
According to the UN, most refugees forced to leave the war zone in southern Syria headed for the country’s borders with Jordan. Continued fighting in southern Syria between rebels and pro-government forces of President Bashar al-Assad led to an increase in the number of refugees. Their number increased to 270 thousand people, said on Monday, July 2, the official representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Jordan, Muhammad Hawari. Previously, the number of so-called displaced persons from the southern regions of the country reached 160 thousand people. According to Hawari, they are hiding from large-scale bombing in the province of Deraa.
The UN said that they sent a humanitarian convoy with medicines and food to help refugees who are in Syrian territory. Most of them headed for closed borders with Jordan and Israel.
Jordan is in contact with Moscow and Damascus
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi previously stated that the country will leave closed its borders with Syria, since it can no longer accept the huge flow of refugees into its territory. However, he noted that he was in contact with Moscow and Damascus on the cessation of military escalation in southern Syria: this could stop the growth in the number of displaced people.
The army of Bashar al-Assad, with the support of Russian troops since June 19, has been conducting a new attack on armed rebel forces in the province of Deraa in the south of the country. According to human rights activists, 15 civilians were killed during an air raid on the region on June 30. Since the beginning of the offensive, the number of victims has increased to 115 people.