Opposition figures in southern Syria have said talks with Russian officers for a peace deal with the government have failed after they rejected Moscow’s demands to surrender, rebel negotiators said.
A government’s offensive this month in southwest Syria has taken much of the eastern part of Deraa province from rebels, backed by a bombardment that the United Nations says has pushed 160,000 people out of their homes.
The meeting on Saturday in the town of Bosra al-Sham was aimed to try to agree on a deal for all of Deraa province to come back under government sovereignty, but without the army or police entering the area.
The talks collapsed, however, as the fighters rejected Russia’s proposed terms for their surrender, a rebel spokesman said.
“The meeting ended in failure. The Russians were not ready to listen to our demands. They offered one option, to accept their humiliating demand to surrender, which was rejected,” Ibrahim Jabawi, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, was quoted as saying.