Small Wars Journal

Syrian Rebels in Surrender Talks for Southwest as Civilians Flee Toward Closed Borders

Syrian Rebels in Surrender Talks for Southwest as Civilians Flee Toward Closed Borders by Louisa Loveluck – Washington Post

Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they are taking part in a new round of surrender talks in the country’s southwest after an escalating military campaign displaced more than a quarter of a million people in just two weeks.

Backed by Russia and Iran, the long-heralded offensive has forced terrified families from place to place, trapping them in frontier towns as the violence creeps closer and the borders with Israel and Jordan remain closed.

This slice of southern Syria, the last opposition-controlled territory without a major foreign sponsor, has evolved in recent years into a geopolitical tinderbox. Both neighbors are watching anxiously as the displaced reach their borders and Iran deploys militias alongside the regular forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

On Tuesday, Ibrahim al-Jabawi, a spokesman for the rebels’ negotiating delegation, said the group has returned to talks with Russia, a key backer of Assad’s government, in an effort to strike a deal that would apply to the entire opposition-held pocket…

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