Jordan and Syria reopen Nassib border crossing

Jordan and Syria reopen Nassib border crossing

Cars began trickling across Syria's southern Naseeb border crossing with Jordan on Monday morning as the crossing partially opened for the first time in more than three years, signaling initial steps towards "normalization" between Amman and Damascus.

A Syrian businessman living in Jordan was the first person to pass through the Nassib border post between Jordan and Syria when traffic resumed.

Once one of Syria's busiest, the Naseeb crossing was closed in 2015 when it fell to rebel hands, disrupting a major trade route between Syria and Jordan, Lebanon and oil-rich Gulf countries.

Israel on Monday reopened its Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights to United Nations observers who had left the area in 2014 amid fierce fighting between Syrian regime forces and rebels.

Syrian government troops recaptured it in July, after rebels reached an agreement with Russian mediators to end the violence in the southern province of Deraa and surrender the crossing.

The SDF, backed by the coalition, has ousted IS from swathes of northern and eastern Syria, including Raqa, the de facto capital of the jihadists' so-called caliphate.

As the crossing has been officially reopened, Golan students are expected to visit Syria through Quneitra after they had gone through long trips through Jordan to come to Syria by airplanes.

Jordan government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat said the Nasib crossing would be opened today after operational details are agreed upon, according to the Jordanian Petra news agency.

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The Druze community was divided when Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967.

There are also signs that Syria is attempting to open up crossings with other neighboring countries in the wake of Naseeb.

UNDOF had withdrawn from the area in 2014 when Al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran the area.

The area in Syria's eastern Deir el-Zour province has been witnessing days of intense clashes between IS and the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces amid bad weather and low visibility.

The strikes, taking place Saturday across multiple districts in the town of Hajin, Deir Ez-Zor province, included the use of white phosphorus, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported, citing local sources.

"It should be noted that special units of our forces carried out an urgent evacuation of civilians from the camp to areas away from the engagements field", the SDF statement added. It said it has been dropping leaflets requesting that civilians leave the area for months "to avoid the brutal tactics" of the extremist group.

It is known that in the battle killed several terrorists. But the observers left the crossing as Syria's civil war made it unsafe.

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