By JT – Aug 02,2018 – JORDAN TIMES
This photo taken on Thursday shows a man riding a motorcycle past destroyed buildings in the opposition-held southern Syrian city of Daraa. Syrian forces are close to reinstalling the government’s full control over the southern part of the country (AFP photo)
AMMAN — A military source said on Thursday that the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) had engaged and killed several members of Daesh group on Tuesday through Wednesday, while they were trying to cross the Jordanian border.
The announcement comes on the same day in which Israel said it struck Daesh extremists approaching its borders near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, according to Reuters.
The Tenth Battalion of Border Guards of the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army immediately applied the rules of engagement using “all” sorts of weapons, the source said in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Thursday.
The operation continued until Wednesday afternoon, without allowing any of the terror group members to cross the border, forcing some to flee back into Syria and killing others, according to the statement.
The source added that the Syrian forces continued chasing the terrorists inside the villages and towns in the Yarmouk Basin, just across the western section of the northern border.
JAF stressed that it remains at the highest level of alert to deal with any terrorist groups, using necessary force and will not allow any to cross the borders of the Kingdom.
On Wednesday, the Syrian News Agency, SANA, said that Syrian army units clashed with the last groups of Daesh terrorists in the village of Al Qasir.
The government forces continued to advance and encircle the remnants of terrorists in the village as their last hotbeds were destroyed and the village was declared “free of terrorism”.
The report said that the front-line units are hunting down the remnants of the terrorists who fled to the neighbouring valleys, as a state of chaos prevailed in their ranks.
Meanwhile, SANA photographers escorted the combing operations of the army and the engineering units in the villages and towns liberated during the last two days in Al Yarmouk Basin.
Change of tone
The Syrian government’s sweep of southwest Syria drove hundreds of thousands of refugees towards Israel and Jordan, alarming both.
As tensions peaked last week, Israel shot down a Syrian warplane that it said had strayed into the Israeli-occupied Golan region and warned Assad’s Iranian and Lebanese Hizbollah reinforcements against trying to deploy on the Syrian-held side.
But Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman sounded more upbeat on Thursday as he described an Assad win as a given.
“From our perspective, the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war, meaning there is a real address, someone responsible and central rule,” Lieberman told reporters during a tour of air defence units in northern Israel.
Asked whether Israel should be less wary of possible flare-ups on the Golan — much of which it seized from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognised abroad — Lieberman said: “I believe so. I think this is also in Assad’s interest.”
There was no immediate Syrian government response to the border clashes reported by Jordan and Syria on Thursday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, confirmed fighting between Assad’s forces and Daesh on the Syrian-held Golan, which also abuts Jordan.
In Moscow, the Russian Defence Ministry said its deployment of military police on the Syrian-held Golan was aimed at supporting a decades-old UN peacekeeper presence (see story on page 4).
It said the new Russian posts would be handed over to the Syrian government once the situation had stabilised.