Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Coalition targets Syrian Town with Banned White Phosphorus

US Coalition targets Syrian Town with Banned White Phosphorus

The Syrian national flag was also raised at the Quneitra crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights at a brief ceremony on Monday morning.

A Jordanian policeman opens the gate of Jordan's Jaber border crossing checkpoint near Syria's Nasib checkpoint, near Marfaq, Jordan, October 15, 2018.

"Europe would like to see their refugees to go back as well", Waqqaf said, adding that, although the Western countries have long linked the return of refugees with "some political changes in Syria", they would not be able to "mount a lot of pressure on the Syrian government" in the face of its improving worldwide posture.

Reopening the crossing with Jordan would bring major relief to President Bashar Assad's government by restoring a much-needed gateway for Syrian exports to Arab countries. It also represents a diplomatic victory for Assad, whose Arab neighbors have shunned him since the war erupted, among other things freezing Damascus' membership in the 22-member Arab League.

Jordan government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat said the Naseeb crossing would be opened Monday after operational details have been agreed upon, according to the Jordanian Petra news agency. Its closure in 2015 cut a crucial transit route for trucks transporting goods between Syria, Jordan, Turkey and other Persian Gulf countries. State news agency SANA said the logistical arrangements for opening the crossing had been completed.

The Lebanese Minister of Agriculture in the caretaker government, Ghazi Zu'aitir, said that "opening the Nassib crossing serves the interest of Lebanese exporters and that communication with the Syrian side is continuing at the level of ministers concerned on this issue".

A vital border crossing linking Syria and Jordan has reopened for the first time in three years, promising to restore commercial trade and travel between the two countries.

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The crossing is also vital for Syria's neighboring Lebanon, providing its agricultural products a route to foreign markets.

The Quneitra crossing is used primarily by the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has around 1,000 troops who monitor a ceasefire line separating Israeli-occupied parts of the Golan Heights from Syria.

The reported strikes are not the first time that the US-led coalition has been accused of using the banned munitions in recent weeks.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 war.

UNDOF had withdrawn from the area in 2014 when Al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran the area.

But that passage closed in 2014, three years into Syria's war, after jihadists of Syria's former A-Qaeda affiliate overran the area and the United Nations force withdrew.

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