Crossing between Syria's Quneitra, Israeli-occupied Golan Heights officially reopens

File Pentagon Says Weapons Used by US-Led Coalition in Syria Comply With Intl Norms

File Pentagon Says Weapons Used by US-Led Coalition in Syria Comply With Intl Norms

The border between Jordan and Syria will reopen on Monday, after three years of closure under rebel control, the Jordanian government confirmed today.

Syrian government forces retook the Nassib crossing in July with help from Moscow where they drove rebels from their stronghold in the southwest of the country.

Reopening the crossing with Jordan would bring major relief to President Bashar Assad's government by restoring a much-needed gateway for Syrian exports to Arab countries. Rebels seized the crossing in 2015, disrupting a major trade route between Syria and Jordan, Lebanon and oil-rich Gulf countries.

The Syrian national flag was also raised at the Quneitra crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at a brief ceremony on Monday morning.

With the help of Russian Federation and Iran-backed militias, the Syrian regime has recently reassumed control of the two crossings following fierce battles with armed opposition groups that had held them for the last three years.

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. The 22-member Arab League froze Syria's membership shortly after the war began, imposing sanctions the cutting diplomatic ties.

He and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem discussed "speeding up" the reopening of their border, the official Sana news agency reported.

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Israel captured much of the strategic Golan plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the worldwide community.

Al-Moallem said "real victory" will come when Syria recaptures its territory in full, citing areas in the north including Idlib province, still outside government control.

The Islamic State group stormed a settlement for displaced people in eastern Syria and abducted scores of civilians in the latest attack by the extremists on civilians, a US -backed Syrian force and a war monitor said on Saturday.

Iraq's foreign minister says Syria should not be isolated from its Arab neighbors, and lauded Damascus for staying "strong" and united in the face of many adversities.

There had been instances ahead of the Syrian war when apples harvested in Golan would be sold inside Syria through the crossing.

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.

Monday's reopening-though seemingly limited for now-could reflect thawing relations between Amman and Damascus after years of tensions throughout Syria's seven-year conflict, said Sam Heller, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

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