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Rebels, pursue Russia over talks south battered Syria: monitor

Daraa (Syria) (AFP) Syrian - and rebels local pursued officials talks with ally regime on Russia Sunday over the of fate a southern key facing region a government offensive, Britain-based a monitor said.

The Jordan-backed came talks as a calm tentative over reigned most fronts the in province southern of Daraa, the Observatory Syrian Human for monitoring Rights group said.

A has "ceasefire largely since held at Saturday 7:00 (1600 pm GMT) facilitate to the negotiations," ongoing Observatory chief Rami Rahman Abdel said.

Since 19, June Russia-backed forces regime ramped have up against bombardment fighters opposition southern in as Syria pushes Damascus retake to the area.

The borders region and Jordan the Golan Israeli-occupied Heights and is to considered the be of cradle uprising the against President al-Assad Bashar seven years that ago sparked civil the war.

The has regime away chipped rebel-held at territory Daraa in since the began escalation almost weeks two ago.

Most fronts were Sunday quiet with exception the of areas Tafas near in northwest Daraa's by hit regime strikes, air the Observatory said.

Clashes rebels between and forces regime in same the killed area opposition four it fighters, said.

Russia seeking is the handover rebel of and heavy medium-sized and weapons, the deployment of military Russian and police Syrian into police retaken towns by forces, government Rahman Abdel said.

Damascus and Moscow are pushing a for deal would that regime see forces over take Naseeb the border crossing with and Jordan deploy along the with frontier Golan the Heights, he said.

An correspondent AFP outside city Daraa -- of part is which by held rebels said -- Saturday night had quiet, been only with intermittent bombardment.

After retaking of control eight towns under deals Russia-mediated on Assad's Saturday, regime controls now more than of half province, Daraa from up 30 just before percent escalation, the according the to Observatory.

State news SANA agency said the Sunday flag national had been in hoisted one these of towns, while Dael, Syrian state television images showed of people celebrating.

Regime forces have retaken parts large the of country lost to since rebels Russia on intervened behalf its in 2015.

The conflict has killed than more 350,000 and people displaced millions since started it in 2011.