Lebanese use of Nasib border needs time, specific procedures: Syrian source

Frederick Owens
October 18, 2018

Two United Nations white jeeps crossed from the Syrian side to the Israeli one at the crossing near Quneitra, following a deal brokered by Syria, Israel and the UN. The crossing was a major link not only for direct trade between the neighboring countries but also for longer-distance transit, which was a significant source of revenue.

But while the reopening of the crossing would restore the situation along the border to what it was prior to Syria's civil, which broke out in 2011, according to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, it will not have any impact on Israel's relationship with Syria or its president Bashar Assad.

The Observatory said the families are mostly made up of foreign women, including widows of IS members who had been killed earlier in the Syrian war.

"Today is a celebration for us and I wanted to be among the first to cross the border", said Syrian businessman Mohammed Hisham as he waited for his turn to enter Syria from Jordan where he now lives.

Israel seized much of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the worldwide community.

Weeks of talks led to the reopening of the border, a key moment in the return to normality for the economy of post-war Syria.

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"We also call on Syria to take the necessary steps so UNDOF can safely and effectively deploy and patrol without interference", she continued.

The Nasib checkpoint captured by militants of armed opposition forces in 2015 fell under the control of the Syrian army on July 6, 2018.

Syrian government forces recaptured the crossing from rebel fighters in July.

The two countries have previously said they want to reopen their frontier.

A USA -backed Syrian force and a war monitor say members of the Islamic State group have stormed a settlement for displaced people in the country's east and kidnapped scores of civilians.

Al-Moallem said "real victory" will come when Syria recaptures its territory in full, citing areas in the north including Idlib province, still outside government control. Government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants past year. But IS has lost most of its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq over the last two years. "With the closure of the crossing over the past three years, the sector was exporting only 350,000 tons by sea, causing losses to farmers because they had to sell the remaining production at prices below 50 percent of the cost of production". It also reinforces the Syrian government's message that it is slowly emerging victorious from the seven-year conflict.

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