Syrian Defense Chief meets Jordanian Army Commander in Amman | World news
AMMAN (AP) – The Syrian defense minister met with the Jordanian army chief in Amman on Sunday after Syrian troops captured several rebel-held areas near the Jordanian border, state media reported.
The Hala Akhbar news site, which is linked to the Jordanian army, reported that the meeting between Jordanian General Yousef Huneiti and Syrian General Ali Ayoub was aimed at “increasing coordination in the area of border security to serve the interests of the two brotherly countries. “
The recent surge by Syrian troops in the south of the country is the largest since government forces captured large areas along the border in 2018, including the Nassib border post.
The crossing point with Jordan was reopened in 2018, months after coming under the control of the Syrian government. Syrian rebels seized the site in 2015, cutting a lifeline for the Damascus government and disrupting a major trade route connecting Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the oil-rich Gulf countries.
Ayoub’s visit came nearly two weeks after Syrian forces entered the rebel neighborhood in the volatile southern city of Daraa as part of a truce brokered by Russia to end the weeks of fighting. In the days that followed, Syrian troops captured rebel-held parts of several villages near Daraa.
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The latest push by Syrian troops places all regions of southern Syria under full government control.
Petra, the Jordanian state news agency, said Huneiti and Ayoub discussed border security, the situation in southern Syria, the fight against terrorism and the fight against smuggling of narcotics.
Syrian state television said the visit took place at the invitation of the Jordanian army commander, adding that Ayoub was accompanied by senior army officers. He said the talks focused on “the fight against terrorism and border control”.
Jordan is a close ally of the West and has long been seen as an island of stability in the turbulent Middle East. The kingdom hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees.
Earlier this month, ministers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt said after a meeting in Amman that Egyptian natural gas is expected to reach Lebanon via Jordan and Syria as early as next month, after l maintenance of pipelines and the review of an agreement interrupted 10 years ago.
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