Syria recaptures border crossing

Syria recaptures border crossing

Syria recaptures border crossing

The UN humanitarian coordinator in Jordan, Anders Pederson, said most of the displaced along the Jordanian border had headed back inside Syria.

An Associated Press journalist on the Jordanian side of the border could see the Syrian side of the crossing, along with the former free zone and some blue tents housing displaced people.

The offensive has displaced around 3,20,000 people since June 19, the United Nations says.

Meanwhile, in eastern Syria a booby-trapped auto exploded late Friday in the village of al Basira, in the eastern countryside of Deir al Zour, which is controlled by US -backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.

As many as 60,000 displaced Syrians who had gathered at the Naseeb crossing returned to their homes in Daraa's eastern countryside over the weekend, the UK-based, pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

State news agency SANA confirmed the that a deal had indeed been reached between the Syrian army and the rebels.

Rebels who did not wish to come back under Assad's rule would leave for the insurgent stronghold in northwest Syria, they said.

"Once again, Russian Federation is justifying a military offensive by the Assad regime by saying that more than half the de-escalation zone is controlled by terrorists".

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Syrian government forces on Friday reached a vital border crossing with Jordan and raised the national flag for the first time in years, state media reported, reinstating sovereignty over a key region that potentially reopens the way for Syrian exports to Arab countries.

Negotiations had stalled Wednesday after Russian Federation "insisted" rebel groups surrender their heavy weapons immediately, joint command spokesperson Ibrahim Jabbawi told AFP.

Near the start of the government's offensive, Washington indicated it would respond to violations of that deal, but it has not done so yet and rebels said it had told them to expect no American military help.

More than 150 civilians have been killed in the regime bombing campaign on Daraa since June 19, the observatory says, and trust in the government does not run high.

The rebels seized control of the crossing in 2015, disrupting a trade route between Syria and Jordan, Lebanon and Gulf countries. "The Russian and the Syrian regime offer no safety", he said.

Regime forces bombarded southern Syria on Sunday, as the evacuation of rebel fighters under a ceasefire deal for the region was postponed, a monitor and an opposition official said.

With no sign of intervention yet by his foreign foes, government forces seem set for another big victory in the war after crushing the last remaining rebel bastions near Damascus and Homs.

Assad's next target in the southwest appears to be rebel-held areas of Quneitra province at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where fighting between insurgents and the government escalated on Friday.

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