Russian airstrikes resumed in southwest Syria on July 4 after the talks on restoring Bashar Assad’s rule in these areas failed. The air strikes targeted the cities of Tafas, northwest of the city of Daraa, and Saida, to the east. This was reported by the Syrian Human Rights Monitoring Group.
Syrian President Bashar Assad is conducting a campaign in the southwest, with Russian air support, to recapture the region from rebel groups, and he has seized a large portion of their territory. This was reported by human rights activists who claim that barrel bombs were also dropped on the Saida on Wednesday night.
Negotiations began on Saturday between the rebels and Russia to bring about a cessation of hostilities, the condition of which was the return of the areas under the sovereignty of the Assad government. However, they were unable to reach an agreement.
A representative of the main factions of the Free Syrian Army, which negotiated with Russia, told Reuters that “the negotiations failed because of because of their (Russia’s) insistence on handing over heavy weapons.” Another representative of the insurgents said that the negotiations failed because Russia wanted all weapons to be handed over at one time. But the Syrian opposition wanted to hand them over in stages, after tens of thousands of displaced people returned home.
After the first round of talks on Saturday, the rebels walked out, saying that “Russia’s terms represent a humiliating surrender.” Soon afterwards, Jordan persuaded them to return to the negotiating table, official sources said.
On Wednesday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi held talks with Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and said that there is a risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in the south of Syria if a ceasefire agreement is not reached.