Jordan, Syria reopen border crossing

US Coalition Strikes Syrian Town Using Banned White Phosphorus - Reports

Syrian and Jordanian officials welcome the reopening of the main border crossing between the two countries; three years after it was shut down by foreign-backed militants.

Jordan is heavily reliant on imports and foreign aid, much of which used to pass through Syria.

As the only functioning crossing between Jordan and Syria, Nasib is vital for goods transport from Lebanon and Syria to Jordan and the Gulf states.

After Monday's reopening, "we hope to be able to resume our activity in order to help people from the occupied Golan to come into Syria proper and then to go back" again, Marianne Gasser said.

Jordanian government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat announced the intended reopening of the Jaber crossing on Sunday.

The Syrian Army captured Nasib in July after dislodging the rebels from the southern province of Daraa.

The Syrian government plans to escort media to the crossing Monday. It added that IS gunmen took civilians by force to areas in the last pocket they control.

"All of us traders are ready for the border to open today", Thaer a-Natour, a business owner in the northern Jordanian city of Ramtha, told Syria Direct last week.

Israel seized much of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the global community.

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has also returned to the disengagement zone after leaving it in 2014, as the separation line between the Bravo gate on the Syrian side and the Alpha gate on the Israeli side is an activity zone for the UNDOF. Government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants a year ago.

In a separate offensive that occasionally raised tensions, rival USA -backed Syrian Defense Forces fought the militants on the eastern banks of the river and along the border with Iraq.

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.

On the sidelines of the celebration, Rafaat Hussein, a parliamentarian from Quneitra, said the development signaled new beginnings.

According to the SDF, some of their "best fighters" were killed while defending the civilians, killing over 20 IS militants, but a group of civilians was kidnapped, "and [IS] took them into the areas controlled by the terrorist organization".

"The border between Israel and Syria was very calm before the start of the Syrian civil war and the return to normal is very convenient for Israel", he told AFP.



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