Gunmen Assassinate South Syria Negotiator: Monitor

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Gunmen assassinate south Syria negotiator: monitor

Gunmen on Thursday assassinated a member of a committee charged with negotiating with Syria's regime the fate of rebel-held southern territory, a monitor said, taking to a dozen the number of them killed in three weeks.

Beirut, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 14th Jun, 2018 ) :Gunmen on Thursday assassinated a member of a committee charged with negotiating with Syria's regime the fate of rebel-held southern territory, a monitor said, taking to a dozen the number of them killed in three weeks.

"At dawn, armed assailants killed a doctor who is part of the Daraa reconciliation committee," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding the attack took place in a rebel village in the northwest of the province.

Another 11 committee members have been killed by unidentified assailants since the end of May, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The killings come as regime ally Russia holds talks with regional powers to sort out the future of the region bordering Jordan and the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, and attempt to avoid a government military operation.

But rebel groups, which control 70 percent of the region, mainly in the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra, have been refusing to negotiate or reconcile with the regime.

The committee is made up of influential local figures who negotiate the fate of rebel-held land with Damascus and its ally Moscow, said Abdel Rahman.

Speaking on the matter on Wednesday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said contacts were "still ongoing between the Russians, Americans and Israelis.

"We are giving the political talks a chance, but if they fail, there will be no choice but liberation by force," he said.

Assad accused the United States and Israel of "putting pressure on the terrorists to prevent any compromise or peaceful solution". The regime uses the term "terrorists" to refer to all rebel fighters.

Backed by Russia, the regime has stepped up its campaign to recapture territory from rebels in recent months, using a combination of heavy bombardment and evacuation agreements.

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