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But much of the province - including part of the provincial capital Deraa city - still remains in the hands of rebels not willing to give up the fight.

Regime air raids also took the lives of five non-combatants in the town of Ghasam.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's offensive in the southwest aims to reclaim one of two remaining rebel strongholds in Syria, the other being Idlib and adjacent areas in the northwest.

"We are moving in all directions and with all the parties to bring a ceasefire and protect civilians", he said in a Tweet on Saturday.

Warfare in the southwest could risk a further escalation because of its proximity to Israel.

Jordanian soldiers reportedly on Saturday shot at Syrian refugees who tried to cross the border.

Discussions on Sunday were hard, said diplomatic sources familiar with the talks.

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The current pro-government push to retake southwestern Syria is the largest assault on opposition-held territory there since a de-escalation deal brokered by the United States, Russia and Jordan came into effect in July 2017. Despite Washington's threats that it would respond to breaches of that arrangement, it has shown no sign of doing so, and the opposition's top negotiator on Thursday accused it of having struck a "malicious deal" to stay silent.

"My Office has also received reports that in the last few days, civilians at some Government checkpoints in the southern-eastern and western parts of Daraa have only been allowed through to Government-held areas in Daraa City and As Suwayda Governorate for a fee", the High Commissioner said.

But the talks, in the town of Bosra al-Sham, whose Roman citadel is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, collapsed as the insurgents rejected proposed terms for their surrender, a rebel spokesman said.

Diplomatic sources said the wider negotiations were hard, with Russian Federation insisting on sweeping surrender terms, and rebels seeking an agreement that would make Jordan a guarantor of the safety of Deraa province's 800,000 civilians. It added that in return for Russian guarantees, the rebels would hand over the Naseeb border crossing with Jordan and return state institutions to rebel-held areas in the south.

State media said that government forces seized al-Harak and Rakham towns, and that insurgents in four other towns agreed to surrender their arms and make "reconciliation" deals.

"The results of the analysis of the operational situation conducted by the command of the Northern district, made a decision to strengthen the 210th division on the Golan heights for more armored and artillery forces", the statement says. State TV broadcast scenes of what they said were locals celebrating the army's arrival in the formerly rebel-held town of Ibta and said rebels turned in their weapons.

The statement said Russian Federation and Iran were violating the agreement they made and that it was "no surprise" that they proved to be "totally untrustworthy".


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