Jordan seeks cease-fire for southwest Syria
Jordan made a bold move to prevent further chaos and reduce another wave of displacement across its border with Syria on Sunday, mediating new talks between fighters and the government’s main ally Russia for a truce in the southwest.
The army seized more ground in a fierce offensive while the insurgents’ lines are fast collapsing and some towns are already coming to terms and submission to the government’s rule.
Syrian Bashar Assad’s offensive in the southwest aims to reclaim one of two remaining opposition strongholds in Syria, the other being Idlib and adjacent areas in the northwest. Assad’s forces captured the last enclaves near Damascus and Homs earlier this year.
The Syrian had already said that they do not expect any backing from the United States. The US had signed a pact together with Russia and Jordan last year; the agreement was to ensure that southwest Syria is marked as a de-escalation zone.
Peace talks in the town of Bosra Al-Sham, home to a UNESCO world heritage site, failed on Saturday when insurgents rejected Russian terms for their surrender, but began again on Sunday under the auspices of Jordan, opposition spokesman Ibrahim Al-Jabawi said.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the kingdom was engaged in intensive diplomacy with all parties in the conflict to help broker a cease-fire that would ease plight of displaced civilians.
“We are moving in all directions and with all the parties to bring a cease-fire and protect civilians,” he said in a Tweet on Saturday.