Tags: syria | rebels | capture | border | crossing

Syrian Rebels Seize Main Jordan Border Crossing

Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:56 AM

Syrian military aircraft bombed areas close to the Jordanian border on Thursday, witnesses and a group monitoring said, after insurgents captured the main border crossing between the two countries.

Rebel groups fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad said they had seized the Nasib crossing late on Wednesday in southern Syria, a crucial battleground also close to Israel.

The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front also said it seized the crossing but rebels denied this.

Jordan closed its side of the crossing on Wednesday. A Jordanian source said on Thursday the kingdom stepped up security and redeployed some troops on the border. Syria's state news agency quoted a military source saying that army units had regrouped in the area.

Helicopters dropped barrel bombs -- crude devices filled with shrapnel -- in the area overnight, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It collects information using sources on the ground.

The Southern Front, an alliance of rebel groups in southern Syria, said on Thursday that the Nasib crossing was still under their control. Nusra Front fighters had been told to leave the area, it said.

Witnesses counted at least six aerial strikes since early on Thursday that hit Nasib crossing where plumes of grey smoke were seen rising on the Syrian side.

"The strikes were heavy overnight but now they are sporadic," Abdullah Shudaifat, a Jordanian currency trader who lives across the border post, said.

Rebels said the Syrian army escalated bombing raids on several insurgent-held towns in the southern province of Deraa.

Diplomats and military experts say Deraa is important due to its location 90 km (55 miles) from Damascus. It offers a direct route north to the government's seat of power in the capital.

Near the Syrian capital further north, battles continued inside the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk, which Islamic State militants stormed on Wednesday and seized large areas from rival armed groups.

On Thursday fighters from Palestinian group Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdes, backed by some Syrian insurgents, had retaken most of the areas seized by Islamic State, the Observatory's founder Rami Abdulrahman said. Islamic State was still inside the camp, which lies on the southern outskirts of Damascus.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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MiddleEast
Syrian military aircraft bombed areas close to the Jordanian border on Thursday, witnesses and a group monitoring said, after insurgents captured the main border crossing between the two countries. Rebel groups fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad said they...
syria, rebels, capture, border, crossing
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2015-56-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 08:56 AM
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