Jordan's mediation brings Syrian rebels back to talks with Russians

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The capture of the Naseeb border crossing came hours after the rebels announced they had reached an agreement with Russian mediators to end the violence in Daraa province and surrender the crossing.

The UNHCR refugee agency urged Jordan to open its borders to Syrians who have fled the fighting, saying the total number of displaced now stood at more than 320,000, with 60,000 of them gathered at the border crossing with Jordan.

Many ordinary Syrians who have lived in opposition-held areas for years fear retribution and say that they do not trust the authorities if they return to live again under state authority.

According to the United Kingdom -based Syrian Network for Human Rights, at least 214 civilians - including women and children - were killed in regime attacks in Daraa in the period from June 15 to June 30.

The UN has repeatedly pointed out that there are numerous reasons for refugees to remain outside the country and as such will not work to return Syrians to their country although it would assist those who wish to go.

The International Rescue Committee said numerous stranded civilians "are struggling without enough shelter and water while contending with 45-degree heat, desert winds and scorpions".

He said there were concerns about the safety of the displaced Syrians returning home.

Moscow has been brokering talks with rebels in southern Syria that have already seen more than 30 towns agree to fall back under regime control.

The victory further cements a Russian-engineered turnaround for Assad, which has handed him back control over what the French once called "La Syrie utile"-the string of major cities running from Aleppo down past Damascus and the country's Mediterranean coastline".

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The deal starts with a ceasefire and the rebels in Daraa will hand over their heavy and medium weapons to the Syrian army, said SANA.

A Daesh militant group affiliate, which holds a small pocket in the southwest of Daraa, is excluded from the deal.

Dark smoke rose over areas held by Syrian rebels near the border with Jordan as President Bashar al-Assad's Russian allies unleashed heavy air strikes and government forces sought to advance on the ground.

Russian military police would deploy instead with local forces overseen by Russia also deployed, they said.

One of the arches of the key frontier post was damaged, mangled metal wires sprouting from the concrete structure.

One officer said that troops have taken up positions along the border with Jordan and are blocking illegal crossing points.

"Assad got what he wanted from the deal", analyst Nick Heras said.

Several witnesses along the Jordan border fence with Syria said they people saw a convoy of over a hundred armoured vehicles and tanks with Russian and Syrian state flags, along with hundreds of troops near Nassib.

After retaking large parts of the country with Russia's help, regime forces set their sights on the southern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra, bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.