Jordan reopens main border post with Syria after 3 year closure

Leroy Wright
October 18, 2018

The border crossing between Jordan and Syria will officially reopen on Monday after being closed for three years, the two countries said on Sunday, though it will not be open to normal traffic immediately.

Sitting next to his Iraqi counterpart, who was visiting on Monday, al-Moallem said the two countries are discussing reopening a border crossing.

The border crossing that would be reopened is the al-Qa'im which is located in the southeast of Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour in the city of Abu Kamal.

Last month, Syrian rose the transit crossing fees to be paid by lorries passing through their territory, regardless of they are loaded or empty.

Assad's government has been largely isolated by its Arab neighbours since the civil war broke out in 2011.

Lebanese government sources confirmed to Arab News that it "will not coordinate with the Syrian government in any way regarding the transit of Lebanese trucks through this (Nassib) border toward the Gulf States".

"I would compare the reopening of the border crossing [between Syria and Jordan] to President Sadat of Egypt's decision to reopen the Suez Canal in 1975".

The two countries have previously said they want to reopen their frontier.

Despite these key posts and the recent sweeping territorial gains, Syrian forces have so far only regained control of around half of the country's crossings with neighbors Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey.

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The main crossing between Syria and Jordan also reopened on Monday.

Aided by Russian Federation and Iran, the Syrian military has clawed its way back and recaptured key territory from the Syrian opposition in the past two years. Moscow said it planned to work closely with the United Nations force.

Syrian government troops recaptured it in July, after rebels reached an agreement with Russian mediators to end the violence in the southern province of Deraa and surrender the crossing.

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. Both countries signed a disengagement agreement in 1974, which led to the establishment of Undof. It also reinforces the Syrian government's message that it is slowly emerging victorious from the seven-year conflict. The eastern part is controlled by Kurdish-led, U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which chased Islamic State militants out of there.

Al-Moallem said Monday the US -backed Kurdish forces "must decide what they want", and abandon "illusions" they'll get a federal system.

On Saturday, IS militants stormed a settlement for displaced people in Hajin and abducted scores of civilians.

According to the Syrian Observatory for human rights, the jihadists raided the camp captured "more than 100 families", including relatives of fighters of ISIS and the jihadists killed in the battle.

The Syrian government has for long called for ending the presence of the USA -led coalition on Syrian soil.

Aoun said Lebanese politicians should take advantage of all opportunities to help the country's economy.

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