BEIRUT-Syria and Jordan reopened a border crossing between the two countries on Monday, more than three years after the vital commercial gateway linking several Middle East economies was closed due to the Syrian war.
The Assad regime retook the area around the border crossing at Naseeb in July during a weekslong Russian-backed offensive to drive opposition groups from their stronghold in southwest Syria. Its frontier with Turkey is only open into rebel-held areas, and its crossing with Iraq is only open for government or military uses.
Last month, Syrian rose the transit crossing fees to be paid by lorries passing through their territory, regardless of they are loaded or empty.
The Observatory said the families are mostly made up of foreign women, including widows of IS members who had been killed earlier in the Syrian war.
The Syrian government plans to escort media to the crossing Monday.
The black metal border gate was opened from the Jordanian side of the crossing at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) as more than a dozen police and customs officials stood nearby, the photographer said.
Syrian government forces captured the Naseeb-Jaber border crossing on July 7, following a surrender by rebels. Moscow said it planned to work closely with the United Nations force. A crossing linking Syria to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights has also been re-opened after four years.
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It was the latest in government efforts to restore normal life to areas it has recaptured from armed groups.
The U.S. coalition has been backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their push to defeat IS in towns in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour.
Last September, Syrian government forces managed to enter Deir Ezzor city, breaking an Daesh siege of almost three years on government-held parts of the provincial capital.
Jordanian taxi driver Imad Sariheen called the reopening of Jaber a source of "great happiness for all of us" which will help ease "economic hardships" caused by the closure of the crossing.
The UN deployed observers to the area in 1974 in its UNDOF mission after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war to monitor a cease-fire and a demilitarized zone between Syria and the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied in 1967.
Local networks in Deir ez-Zor have posted images of the flyers today, Saturday (October 13), which said: "The US-led coalition will soon conduct purification operations [.]". IS has lost 58 fighters, majority in retaliatory coalition air strikes, it added. Ryan, of the coalition, said he could not confirm whether SDF fighters were taken.