United Nations says displaced Syrians leave zone near Jordan border crossing


Worldwide relief agency CARE said told The Associated Press on Sunday that thousands of displaced Syrians have moved from areas close to the Jordanian border back to towns and villages that recently signed Russian-brokered reconciliation agreements with the Syrian government.

The opposition forces have agreed to hand over the Nasib border crossing with Jordan to the Syrian regime on Saturday as part of a Russian-brokered deal.

It also underscores America's remarkable declining role and influence in Syria.

Israel said it had targeted a Syrian army post that shelled a frontier "buffer zone" in the Golan area.

The battles in southern Syria are critical because the area controls the gateway to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights along the Israeli border and thus pose a threat to Israel. Although the US government negotiated a de-escalation agreement for southern Syria previous year, it has remained silent as Assad's forces marched onto Daraa in the past two weeks in a crushing assault that displaced more than 330,000 people. They rampaged through administrative buildings, ripping down the Syrian state flag and stomping on pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Eisenkot stressed that Israel would not allow the presence of Iranian militias of any type on its borders, and Dunford concurred.

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. Dozens have been killed.

The talks in the southwestern province of Deraa, bordering with Jordan, started several days ago following a successful two-week offensive by the Syrian army, which was backed by Russian Federation.

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Russian military police would deploy instead with local forces overseen by Russia also deployed, they said.

Jordan has been an important mediator with regard to Syrian rebels and the Russian government.

Twenty-four hours into the onslaught, rebels said they were willing to return to negotiations.

Ahead of the crisis, the crossing was the busiest border crossing in Syria as it is situated on the Damascus-Amman worldwide highway near Nasib. If abandoned, extremist organizations will most likely take advantage and recruit the children, similar to what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We ask for real guarantees and United Nations sponsorship for the southern negotiations", the statement said.

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.

The commander noted that medical services were still provided to the people remaining in the area and that after the treatment, the patients are "immediately returned" to Syria.

On another wall, Syrian soldiers put a military boot over the rebels' flag, another message that the army has defeated the militants.

The same source went on to deny recent reports on social media "regarding the alleged violation of Jordanian airspace by Syrian jet fighters".