Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Jordan, Syria hail reopening of border crossing

A displaced Syrian sits holding her child at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria Feb. 26 2018.
DELIL SOULEIMAN  AFP  Getty Images US Coalition Strikes Syrian Town Using Banned White Phosphorus - Reports
Steven Clarke | 16 October, 2018, 13:46

A Jordanian policeman opens the gate of Jordan's Jaber border crossing checkpoint near Syria's Nasib checkpoint, near Marfaq, Jordan, October 15, 2018. Another Syrian border crossing that opened on the same day was the one with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Quneitra crossing was previously used by the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), made up of around 1,000 peacekeepers patrolling the 1974 ceasefire line there. "Our work was halted because of the closure of the border between Jordan and Syria", he added. "If these data is confirmed, the United States must be held accountable for this", Kondratyev said.

Imad Sariheen, a Jordanian taxi driver, was elated, calling the crossing's reopening a source of "great happiness for all of us" which will help ease "economic hardships".

"Our conditions have worsened over the past years".

"There isn't a family in the Golan that doesn't have relatives in the motherland", he said, referring to Syria. The crossing is considered one of the most important land overpasses in the Middle East.

"Europe would like to see their refugees to go back as well", Waqqaf said, adding that, although the Western countries have long linked the return of refugees with "some political changes in Syria", they would not be able to "mount a lot of pressure on the Syrian government" in the face of its improving global posture.

The Nassib re-opening took place at 8am (05:00 GMT) and it came as a major boost to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Syrian television station Ikhbariya later reported that several people had been killed and several others injured following separate coalition strikes in al-Soussa, Deir Ez-Zor in an attack which hit a local bakery.

"The Naseeb crossing is a vital lifeline for trade between the two brotherly countries Jordan and Syria through them to other Arab countries", Ghunaimat said, according to Petra.

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 Quneitra area was retaken from rebels by the Syrian army its allies in July.

"We said from the outset that we have no interest in meddling in the civil war inside Syria, we have never intervened and our interest is to ensure the security of the citizens of Israel", Liberman told a crowd at the crossing. "I only speak to them on the phone", he said, dressed in a long black robe and white circular cap topped with dark red.

In the past, Druze farmers in the Golan Heights relied on the crossing to export apples to Syria.

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