State TV broadcasts in Syria's east for 1st time in years

A displaced Syrian sits holding her child at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria Feb. 26 2018.
DELIL SOULEIMAN  AFP  Getty Images

A displaced Syrian sits holding her child at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria Feb. 26 2018. DELIL SOULEIMAN AFP Getty Images

Technical teams from Syria and Jordan met Sunday at the Jaber border point, which is on the Jordanian side, and finalised all arrangements and measures pertaining to the re-opening of what used to be the busiest border crossing between the two countries.

It is an important step for the Syrian government's reconstruction and remaining efforts to reestablish control as the post was a key link not only for direct trade between the neighboring countries but also for longer-distance transit, which was a significant source of revenue.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has praised the agreement between Jordan and Syria to open a main border crossing between the two countries, saying it will benefit Beirut.

The passage "is a vital lifeline for trade between the two brotherly countries Jordan and Syria through them to other Arab countries", Jumana Ghunaimat said, spokesperson for the Jordanian government, according to Petra news agency. The 22-member Arab League froze Syria's membership shortly after the war began, imposing sanctions the cutting diplomatic ties.

The Quneitra crossing was the only crossing for the Syrians in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights to enter Syria but not for the Syrians inside Syria as they are not allowed to enter the Israeli-occupied territory.

The reopening of the crossing is a major boost to Jordan's struggling economy amid price rises and austerity measures which have sparked the country's worst protests in decades.

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

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On Sunday, Israel's military announced that the United Nations has chose to return its peacekeeping force, known as UNDOF, to the Quneitra crossing area.

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

The frontier with Turkey is still closed into Syrian government-held areas, and open only into territory controlled by rebels.

The Islamic State group stormed a settlement for displaced people in eastern Syria and abducted scores of civilians in the latest attack by the extremists on civilians, a USA -backed Syrian force and a war monitor said on Saturday. Government forces recaptured the city from Islamic State militants a year ago.

Regime forces recaptured the Quneitra area in July.

Iraq's foreign minister says Syria should not be isolated from its Arab neighbors, and lauded Damascus for staying "strong" and united in the face of many adversities. Syria State TV showed the Syrian flag raised at the crossing which has been closed for four years because of the fighting.

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