A war monitor says tens of thousands of people have fled an upsurge in fighting between the regime and its allies, and rebels in Syria's southwest. The UN has condemned the latest fighting.

SOHR Director Rami Abdulrahman said civilians had now mostly left the eastern part of Daraa province, where regime forces have been advancing.
SOHR Director Rami Abdulrahman said civilians had now mostly left the eastern part of Daraa province, where regime forces have been advancing. (AA)

More than 160,000 people have been forced to flee in southwestern Syria since Damascus launched an offensive to recover an area near the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a war monitor said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said tens of thousands had gathered at Syria's border with Jordan while thousands more had fled to the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

TRT World's Kieran Burke reports.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al Hussein on Friday called on all sides to the conflict in Syria to end the escalating violence in Daraa.

"Thousands of civilians are reported to have fled their homes towards areas in western Daraa, including Nawa and Jassem, and towards the Jordanian border, many of whom remain stranded in the desert area with no access towards basic food and water needs," al Hussein said in a statement on Friday.

The UN warned earlier this week that 750,000 people were at risk in Daraa. 

According to Anadolu Agency correspondents in Jordan, authorities had not allowed people at the Jordanian border to enter the country.

A second group of refugees near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights held signs reading "We want protection and safe zone" and "Crime against humanity not to open borders to migrants."

Daraa has been subject to intense aerial bombardments and ground attacks for the last 10 days, with Syrian regime forces, backed by Shia militia, capturing the towns of Busra al Harir and Nahta.

Daraa is located at the intersection of Jordan, the occupied Golan region and Lebanon. It was declared a de-escalation zone in July 2017, when a trilateral ceasefire agreement was reached, with the US, Russia and Jordan as guarantors.

The UN high commissioner called on all sides to avoid a repetition of the bloodshed and suffering seen earlier this year in Eastern Ghouta.

TRT World's editor at large Ahmet Alioglu is on the Syria-Turkey border. He has this update.

Ankara condemns regime attacks on Daraa

Turkey on Friday condemned the Syrian regime attacks carried out against civilians in Daraa and the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra. 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement said: "In Syria's southwestern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra that were declared as de-escalation zones by a memorandum signed in Astana, hundreds of innocent people have been assassinated in the Syrian regime's attacks targeting civilians."  

"We feel great sorrow and concern about this. We strongly condemn these inhumane attacks," added Aksoy.

He also said that the regime's attacks "undermine the Astana and Geneva efforts" to find a solution to the political crisis and reduce violence on the ground.  

Aksoy's statement urged the international community and the other guarantor countries in the Astana talks – Russia and Iran – to put an end to the attacks.  

The Daraa and Quneitra provinces in Syria's southwest are one of the four de-escalation zones established during Astana talks in May 2017.

Russia, Jordan and the US also negotiated to consider the provinces as de-escalation zones.

Source: AA