Syrian Army Captures Area Bordering Jordan
Syrian government forces claimed on Thursday that they have recaptured a large swathe of area bordering Jordan in the southern province of Sweida from the hands of opposition groups, cutting off a number of their routes to smuggle weapons across the border.
The government forces have regained the uninhabited area after wrapping up a campaign persisted for days against the opposition groups and extremist groups in the area. The recaptured borderline stretches more than 30 kilometers and the whole area covers about 1,300 square kilometers.
The border area has long been used as passages for the opposition forces to "smuggle" weapons from Jordan into the country since 2011 when the conflict first broke out, and the government forces are looking to block these passages for good, according to the soldiers of the government forces.
"The passages into Jordan are illegal. The fighters enter Syria illegally from Jordan. They smuggle weapons, crude oil and transport other rebel fighters. The trail of their wheels and their footprints are still visible on the ground," said Mahmoud, a soldier of the Syrian army.
The UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights accused the Syrian government of violating a ceasefire agreement in the de-escalating zone by starting the campaign. In response to the accusation, a commander of the government forces said that the campaign was a result of the breach of the ceasefire agreement on the opposition's side and the opposition, extremist groups were mixed in the area.
"They [opposition forces] have been breaching the ceasefire agreement from the very beginning. The fighters were able to get supplies across the border at will. That's why we only defeated them in this conflict not until yesterday. We fought fiercely to block them from crossing the border," said Colonel Moneer Muhammad with the Syrian Army.
The campaign in Sweida still bears a great amount of significance as it has prevented more weapons from being smuggled into the country, said Major General Abdulmajeed Muhammad, the commander in charge of the campaign.
"The operation bears a lot of significance. First of all, it has recovered a large swathe of land, and secondly, it has cut off the supply route for the opposition groups. It was one of the major passages for the fighters to smuggle weapons across the border into Syria," said Muhammad.