Israel delivers aid, medicine to Syrians fleeing to border

01 July, 2018, 18:39 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Israeli armored vehicles are seen during a military exercise in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border

Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen TV said Syrian government troops had opened three crossing points in rebel-held territory for civilians wishing to flee to the other side.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that as airstrikes battered Daraa thousands of civilians fled regime-held areas.

Deraa province is a strategic region that extends along the border with Jordan and the occupied Golan Heights.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Thursday said that he was due to meet UN Secretary General António Guterres to discuss developments in southern Syria as regime forces made new advances just across the border with the Kingdom.

That brings to at least 96 the total number of civilians killed, including 19 children, since the offensive in Deraa began, according to reports.

The regime offensive in the area takes place in a "de-escalation zone" that was agreed to previous year between Russian Federation, the United States, and Jordan.

The agency added that units of the Syrian Army continued combing Busre al-Harir and Nahtah towns in Daraa eastern countryside after liberating them from terrorism. Jordan, which is already hosting 660,000 registered refugees, says it can not accept any more and has sealed its border, despite appeals from aid groups.

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Syrian regime ally Moscow has been in talks with Israel to avoid the government's assault on rebel-held areas escalating into confrontation between Syrian and Israeli forces, who remain technically at war.

A doctor in a rural area in the west of Daraa province said his staff was preparing for an influx of critically wounded from Al-Mseifra.

It said 450 insurgents in the Laja area, which the army seized earlier this week, handed themselves in with their weapons to "settle their affairs" with the government. He expected that "within days" wide parts of southern Syria will be under government control.

"Israel will do what it can to help the refugees, short of allowing them into the country", the official, who was not named, told Israel's Channel 10.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, in an interview with Tel Aviv Radio 102FM, said: "I think we must prevent the entry of refugees from Syria to Israel, in the past we have prevented such cases".

"This is a specific aid that the IDF and the State of Israel have transferred to the Syrians in camps in the south and in the center of the Syrian Golan Heights, in which thousands of Syrians live in poor conditions without access to water, electricity, food or basic necessities", read the statement.

Footage released by the Israeli military on Friday showed a forklift truck unloading palettes with supplies that it said included 300 tents, 28 tons of food, medical equipment and medication, footwear and clothing.

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