Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Main border post between Jordan and Syria reopens after 3 years

Main border post between Jordan and Syria reopens after 3 years

JABER, Jordan - The border crossing between Jordan and Syria officially opened to civilians and trade on Monday after being closed for three years.

The reopening of that crossing would mark a diplomatic victory for Assad, whose government has been isolated from its Arab neighbours since the war began in Syria in 2011.

The strategic Naseeb crossing between Syria and Jordan on the Damascus-Amman worldwide highway was reopened Monday, just one day after both countries agreed to it.

Jordan's state news agency Petra said 199 people crossed to Syria Monday, of whom 37 were Syrians and the rest Jordanians.

The crossing is the only conduit between Syria and Jordan and is also considered one of the most important land crossings in the Middle East as it was the main crossing for exports from Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria to the Gulf states and vice versa.

Last month, the coalition denied using the substance in Syria after the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation issued a report of airstrikes carried out using the internationally-prohibited weapons by US F-15 fighter jets on September 8.

Arab countries have boycotted the Syrian government since the early days of the war, freezing its membership in the 22-member state Arab League.

UNDOF had withdrawn from the area in 2014 when Al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran the area. In eastern Syria, state TV said its broadcast has returned to Deir el-Zour city, seven years after it was halted when armed groups seized control of the area.

The reopening, first announced by Jordanian officials on Sunday, comes after Syrian government troops retook their side of the crossing in July under a deal with rebel fighters.

But they have sustained heavy casualties in the operation being conducted with US-led air support.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Iraqi foreign minister, offered an encouraging response, talking of improving relations with Syria and reintegrating it into the Arab world.

Hundreds of people were abducted by terrorists "Islamic state" from the camp in Eastern Syria during the counter offensive of the jihadists against U.S. forces.

The UN force returned to the area after Syrian government forces, backed by Russian Federation, succeeded in recapturing territory near the Golan Heights and driving out armed militant groups from a "de-escalation zone".

The battles are hard as the IS militants resorted to several tactics to prevent the SDF from advancing through landmines and suicide bombings.

Before it was closed, the Quneitra crossing was mostly used by the United Nations force patrolling the buffer zone.

After Syria's civil war started, however, there were violations of the ceasefire with the escalation of military activity in the area of separation patrolled by Undof.

Like this: