The Latest: Syrian troops reach border crossing with Jordan
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):
Syrian state media says government forces have reached a vital border crossing with Jordan and raised the national flag for the first time in years.
State news agency SANA said the capture of the Naseeb border crossing happened Friday afternoon after a deal was reached between rebels and Russian mediators to end the violence in southern Syria.
The capture of the Naseeb border crossing is another victory for President Bashar Assad’s forces, who have regained control of most of the area’s key cities from insurgents.
Rebels seized control of the crossing in 2015, cutting a major lifeline for Syrian exports and disrupting a major trade route between Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and oil-rich gulf counties.
Syrian state media and a war monitor say government forces have captured new areas along the border with Jordan and are on the verge of reaching a main crossing between the two countries.
Government-controlled Central Military Media said Friday that government forces now control most of the towns and villages on the eastern side of southern Daraa province and should capture the Naseeb border crossing within hours.
Syrian government forces launched a wide offensive on June 19 to retake Daraa and the nearby Quneitra region that borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The attack has displaced some 330,000 people and left dozens dead.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Right says Syrian troops are now about three kilometers (2 miles) from Naseeb border crossing.