tiptrot.com July 18, 2018

Russia-Backed Syrian Forces Take Key Border Site After Deal With Rebels

10 July 2018, 12:39 | Bernice Figueroa

Syrian forces reach Jordanian border crossing as rebels negotiate surrender

A Su-25 fighter jet which took part in the Russian mission in Syria lands at a military airport in Krasnodar Region Russia

Lebanon bets on the reopening of the Naseeb border crossing with Jordan to reactivate its economic sector through energizing its exports activities to Gulf and Arab countries by transforming goods by land and therefore decrease their cost.

On Friday, regime forces retook control of the Nassib border crossing with Jordan.

They said Russian Federation had insisted opposition factions hand over their heavy weapons in one go, while rebels wanted to do so in several phases.

Meanwhile, the military operation continued in western Daraa after several rebel groups in the western countryside of Daraa rejected a Russian-backed deal to settle the situation in that province near Jordan. Syrian troops will withdraw from some areas they have captured and allow rebels of the Free Syrian Army to take back control of four disputed towns. The details of this passage are expected to be discussed in the coming weeks.

In addition to ending the Syrian military offensive the deal also calls for the gradual withdrawal of Syrian Army forces from the towns they've taken, to be replaced by local forces who are overseen by Russian Federation.

Syria Direct could not independently confirm the final terms of the reported agreement, which were distributed online by pro-opposition activists since the weekend.

Worldwide monitors said that more than 320,000 people have fled the attacks and have been forced to sleep in open spaces or makeshift shelters near the border.

Most of the displaced had fled to Daraa's border with Jordan and to neighboring Quneitrah province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, whipped by desert winds and temperatures as high as 110 degrees.

Almost 60,000 people have gathered near the Jordan border and thousands more are seeking shelter at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

There was no immediate comment from the Assad government and its Russian backers.

Three civilians were killed in air strikes on Um al-Mayazin, just five kilometres north of the Jordanian border, said the Britain-based monitor.

Syrian army soldiers burned a rebel flag Saturday after they and Russian military police took over the crucial Nassib post on the border with Jordan. This would split the territory in two.

The provinces of Deraa and Quneitra had been relatively calm for nearly a year because of a "de-escalation" agreement brokered by the United States and Jordan, which support the opposition, and Russian Federation, a key ally of the government Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But the announcement only came after an earlier government advance towards the Nasib crossing, sources on the ground said.

The road clearing, along with the reconstruction of destroyed section of Damascus-Amman highway, will continue until the highway "resumes its critical function in joining Syria and Jordan", Syrian government official Ahmad Zein al-Abedein told SANA.

The same source went on to deny recent reports on social media "regarding the alleged violation of Jordanian airspace by Syrian jet fighters".

But, "given the immediate dangers", added Mr. Grandi, "I am advocating for granting temporary refuge in Jordan to those in need of safety and for the global community to provide immediate and substantive support to Jordan, in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility sharing". The leaders also agreed to surrender weaponry, according to the ministerial statement.

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