Syrian troops celebrate recapture of Jordan border crossing

Anders Pedersen, the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Jordan said on Sunday that only about 150-200 people remained there.

Upon reaching the Nasib border crossing between Syria and Jordan, the rebels' red-white-black flag with three red stars in the middle used to seen painted on every roadblock and nearly all walls.

More than 320,000 people have fled the attacks by Syrian government forces and Russian Federation, and were forced to camp in open spaces or makeshift shelters near the border with Jordan or the Golan Heights.

Russian-backed Syrian forces had launched an offensive in southern Syria two weeks ago.

Rebels who refused to come back under Assad's rule would leave for the insurgent stronghold in north-west, they said.

'The Assad government wants both Daraa city and the Nassib border crossing, ' said Nicholas Heras, an analyst at the Washington-based Centre for a New American Security.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the fighting in the region toward Jordan's border.

The government forces have taken over the Nassib border crossing and raised the Syrian flag there, according to the Syrian state media and outlets affiliated with Hezbollah, another regime ally.

The agreement is expected to be implemented in stages, rebel spokesman Hussein Abazeed said, first for eastern Daraa, the provincial capital and then the west of the province.

About 20,000 civilians had begun returning to their homes Friday evening, according to the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Opposition sources told dpa that the deal would allow civilians to return to their villages and towns, with Moscow securing their safety and protection.

Rebel territory in the south was included in a ceasefire brokered past year by Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan, but that has done little to stem violence.

Rebel officials say the main differences include whether the rebels surrender their weapons in one go or in phases, before handing over their areas to state control under Russian military police supervision.

As Assad seeks victory, there seems little hope of a negotiated peace, with six million Syrian refugees overseas and 6.5 million more internally displaced.

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.

Meanwhile on Saturday, some 400 displaced people who had been living in Lebanon near the northeastern border town of Arsal returned home to war-torn Syria.

Assad aims to recapture Syria's entire southwest including the frontiers with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan.

USA -backed and Kurdish-led forces seized the town from the Islamic State group in 2016, but Turkey views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists due to their links to insurgents across the border and has demanded they withdraw.


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