Syrian rebels seize Jordan crossing from govt control

A photo showing the Jordanian border with Syria

A photo showing the Jordanian border with Syria

Syrian rebels seized a border crossing with Jordan from government forces on Wednesday, the leader of one of the rebel groups and a security source on the government’s side said, the first time Damascus has lost it since the start of the conflict.

“It has been liberated,” said Bashar al Zoubi, leader of the Yarmouk Army, one of the mainstream rebel groups in southern Syria that was involved in the offensive. “The crossing is with us,” he added, in a message sent to Reuters via Internet.

The security source said government forces had pulled out to a nearby base. “The Syrian army withdrew from the Nasib bordering crossing,” the source said.

Hours before, Jordan had closed its main border crossing with Syria amid fierce clashes between rebels and pro-regime forces for control of the post.

“The ‘Jaber’ border post has been temporarily closed to travellers and goods,” Interior Minister Hussein Majali told AFP.

The closure, he said, was a “preventive measure to safeguard the lives and security of travellers due to the fighting underway on the other side of the border.”

A monitoring group said earlier that heavy fighting had erupted Wednesday when Syrian rebels including Islamists launched an attack on the border crossing, known as the Nasib post on the Syrian side.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels had besieged the post and were facing air raids and rocket fire from regime forces.

The post is the last remaining border crossing with Jordan still in the hands of Syria’s regime, as it battles rebels who launched an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.


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