Syrian forces gain control of Jordanian border

Posted July 10, 2018

The onslaught has reportedly forced tens of thousands of civilian residents to flee to areas near Syria's border with Jordan.

Syrian television showed footage of government tanks moving toward the crossing, which rebels seized from Syrian forces in April 2015.

Under the ceasefire deal, regime forces were to deploy along the frontier with Jordan, while rebels were to hand over their heavy weapons.

Many are now returning after a recent deal between the army and rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported that both sides agreed on an immediate and full cease-fire in the area. The Syrian flag flew in the distance, along with what appeared to be a Russian flag. In conversations with more than half a dozen rebel commanders, fighters and negotiators on Sunday and Monday, all said that despite the reconciliation deal, a sense of confusion and uncertainty hangs over Daraa.

Both Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly denied the accusations.

"The entire borderline with Jordan has been secured completely from Nasib in the southeast of Daraa to the desert region of the nearby Sweida province", he said.

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The talks resumed at around midday on Friday in the town of Busra al-Sham, freshly recaptured by government troops.

No customs or border control officers have been there yet.

The U.N. refugee agency says around 60,000 Syrians have gathered near the Nassib crossing.

Ahead of the crisis, the crossing was the busiest border crossing in Syria as it is situated on the Damascus-Amman worldwide highway near Nasib.

The crossing is important for Jordan now that the country is suffering from economic obstacles, which led to the eruption of protests in June, leading to the government's sacking.

They had congregated in a zone near the Nassib-Jaber crossing.

In the area close to the occupied Golan Heights, Israel has been delivering some aid across the border.

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Daraa is considered the cradle of the 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that triggered Syria's devastating civil war.

"What is happening in southern Syria is a big achievement for the Syrian army and its allies and a resounding defeat for America, Israel and their allies", said an official of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, Ali Daamoush, during a Friday prayers sermon in Beirut.

Under the accord, rebels are expected to hand over their heavy weapons, while those who reject the agreement will be bussed with their families to opposition-held areas in the north of the country, state media has said.

Government-controlled Central Military Media said Friday that government forces now control most of the towns and villages on the eastern side of southern Daraa province and should capture the Naseeb border crossing within hours.

The SOHR said smoke columns could be seen rising from burning properties the town of Saida, located to the east of Daraa city and was re-captured by government forces this week.

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.

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