Fears grow for safety of 270,000 Syrians fleeing fighting in Deraa


Fears are mounting about the safety of more than 270,000 civilians who have fled recent fighting in southern Syria, with aid groups and local doctors issuing urgent appeals for people stranded in the desert without shelter. Fighting in Deraa province, a strategic area that borders both Jordan and Israel, has halted while negotiations for a surrender deal between rebels in the region and the Syrian government’s main backer, Russia, continue. But UN officials say more than 270,000 people have fled their homes in the last two weeks, including 160,000 who have headed towards the Golan Heights and the Israeli border.

More than 200 civilians are believed to have been killed in the fighting in Deraa, which is meant to be a “de-escalation” zone with a ceasefire guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran in place. The latest bout of violence began in mid-June after a year of relative peace, while the regime of Bashar al-Assad pursued military campaigns in other parts of the country.(theguardian)…[+]