April 2, 2015
By Ammar Hamou and Brent Eng
AMMAN: A coalition of rebels including Jabhat a-Nusra won control of the Nasib border crossing with Jordan on Wednesday.
In addition to being a border crossing, Nasib was also “a military barracks from where the regime would bomb rebel-controlled areas,” Abu Iskandar, a media activist in Daraa, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
“By winning control of the crossing, [rebels] have cut off a military supply line that fed the nearby areas,” he said.
The Free Syrian Army-affiliated group Suqour al-Janoubiya, part of the Southern Front, participated in the attack, said the southern Daraa-based media activist Abu Dirgham al-Hourani, in addition to Nusra.
Nusra claims control of Jordan crossing on Thursday. Photo courtesy of @RevolutionSyria.
“On this day Al-Qaeda, Jabhat a-Nusra…has freed the Nasib border crossing from [regime] forces,” announced a Nusra fighter in a video posted to Nusra’s Twitter account on Wednesday.
Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, rarely mentions the jihadist organization’s name in its announcements, usually referring only to Jabhat a-Nusra.
Suqour al-Janoubiya also released a video saying that it and a number of other rebel brigades had taken control of the crossing.
Rebels in Daraa made many attempts to capture the Nasib crossing prior to Wednesday’s success, but repeatedly failed.
Government forces who were defending the border fled in the direction of regime-held Suwayda province, said Abu Dirgham.
Pro-Assad media admitted that regime forces are “regrouping” around Nasib.
“Our forces working [in the area] of Nasib border crossing are regrouping and relocating at a new military position,” a military source told the pro-regime news channel Sama TV.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Jordanian government closed its side of the Nasib crossing in response to the rebel attack on the border, reported the Jordanian news site Ammon News.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government blamed Jordan for the closing of the crossing and said that the Jordanian government would carry responsibility for the economic and social fallout, reported official Syrian news agency SANA.
The rebel victory comes in the wake of the fall of the regime stronghold Busra a-Sham in Daraa province into opposition hands last week.
Prior to the conflict, the Nasib crossing—one of two official border crossings between Syria and Jordan—was a major trade for exports from Syria to Jordan and GCC countries.