Syria reopens two border crossings, but many escape regime control

2018-10-16 07:06

Two border crossings in Syria's south reopened on Monday, after the government's capture of the entire frontier there allowed for the gates to be opened for the first time in years.

Of Syria's 19 border points with Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey, the regime now controls more than half, including all of those with Lebanon, two each with Jordan and Iraq and two closed crossings with Turkey.

Here is an overview of Syria's border crossings with its neighbours.

- Border with Jordan (2) -

- Nassib: This point lies in the southern province of Daraa. It was overrun by rebels in April 2015 but government troops recaptured it in July. It was reopened by the Jordanian and Syrian authorities on Monday, in hopes the vital trade route passing through it would revived.

- Former Daraa customs post: Recaptured by the regime during its summer offensive on the south, ending five years of rebel rule there. Known as Ramtha on the Jordanian side.

- Border with Turkey (9) -

- Kassab: In the western province of Latakia. Under regime control but closed by Turkey since fierce clashes in 2014 between the army and Islamist rebels, who briefly overran the post.

- Bab al-Hawa: In the northwestern province of Idlib. Held by Islamist rebels, including an alliance dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda branch.

- Bab al-Salama: In the town of Azaz in northern Aleppo province. Held by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.

- Jarabulus: In Aleppo province. Held by Syrian rebels allied to Turkey.

- Tal Abyad: In Raqa province, held by US-backed Kurdish fighters since 2015.

- Kobane: In Aleppo province, held by US-backed Kurdish fighters since 2015.

- Ras al-Ain: In northeastern Hasakeh province. Was the site of ferocious battles between ISIS and Kurdish fighters before the latter forced the jihadists out of the post and nearby town.

- Qamishli: The only regime-controlled crossing in Hasakeh province, but closed on the Turkish side.

- Ain-Diwar: In Hasakeh. Controlled by Kurdish fighters.

- Border with Iraq (3) -

- Yaarubiya: In Hasakeh. Controlled by Kurdish fighters. Known to Iraqis as Rabia.

- Albu Kamal: In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, held by regime forces and allied regional militiamen who seized it from ISIS in 2017. Known as Al-Qaim on the Iraqi side. Iraqi and Syrian authorities announced on Monday its reopening was "imminent".

- Al-Tanaf: In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, held by US-led coalition forces and allied fighters who seized it from ISIS. Iraqis call it Al-Walid.

- Border with Lebanon (5) -

All five crossings, which lead into Homs and Damascus provinces in Syria, are controlled by government forces:

- Jdeidet Yabus, known in Lebanon as Masnaa.

- Dabussiyeh, known in Lebanon as Abbudiye.

- Jussiyeh, known in Lebanon as Al-Qaa.

- Tal Kalakh, known in Lebanon as Bouqueiya.

- Tartus, known in Lebanon as Al-Arida.

- With Israel -

There are no formal crossings between Syria and Israel, which are officially still at war.

The Quneitra crossing connects Syria with the Israeli-occupied Golan.

It had been operated for decades by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), but closed when rebels overran it in 2014 along with most of Quneitra.

With the Syrian government's recapture of Quneitra, the crossing was reopened on Monday under an agreement between Syria, Israel, and the UN.

- Maritime border -

All sea ports on Syria's Mediterranean coast are controlled by the regime.

Read more on:    syria

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