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Syrian clashes near Jordanian border

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Fighting in Syria approaches borders again

Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country rest after crossing into Jordanian territory near the town of Ramtha AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI

Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country rest after crossing into Jordanian territory near the town of Ramtha
AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI

Fighting was reported between regime forces and rebels in the Syrian town of Nasib, near the Jordanian border, on Saturday morning, according to AP.

Citing activist Mohamed Abu Houran, the AP reported the fighting took place after a group of rebels attacked an air defense base near Nasib.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on its official Twitter account, regime forces bombarded Nasib alongside other towns including Al-Kerk Al-Sharqi, Al-Shajara, Al-Yaduda, and Tel Shihab, adding that casualties were reported on both sides.

Bullets were fired into Jordan during the clashes, resulting in a strong-worded message from the Jordanian government to the caretaker Syrian ambassador in Amman, according to Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA.

A Jordanian high-ranking official denied to MENA that Jordanian troops have clashed with Syrians on the border.

 “The Jordanian army fires shots only to distract the Syrian army as the Syrian refugees cross into Jordanian territory in order to preserve their [the Syrian refugees] safety” MENA quoted the anonymous official as saying.

The media advisor to Iraq’s prime minister, Ali Al-Moussawi, confirmed on Friday that Iraq had halted a North Korean plane headed for Syria in its airspace, suspecting it could be transferring weapons, according to Reuters.

The move comes amid the United States’s accusations that Iraq is allowing Iranian planes carrying weapons for Syria to use its airspace.

“Continuing the Iraqi government policy to investigate the passing of weapons to Syria through Iraqi land and air space, the Iraqi authorities prevented a North Korean plane from going to Syria, after they suspected that the plane was shipping weapons,” Al-Moussawi told Reuters on Friday.

On Wednesday, US senator John Kerry threatened to cut US aid to Iraq should they not put an end to this arms transfer, according to Reuters.

On Friday, a new resolution was drafted extending the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which was convened by the United Nations Human Rights Council almost a year ago. This will resume investigations into humanitarian violations committed in Syria, according to AFP.

The resolution, currently drafted by commission members including representatives from Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia, also aims to refer the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court, a move which would most likely be voted against by Russia and China.

The committee already extended on Monday the list of Syrians suspected of having committed war crimes in the past 18-months in Syria, according to Reuters. The list includes names of Al-Assad’s forces and supporters as well as some armed rebels. It also highlights the increasing presence of jihadists within Syria, some of them operating independently, according to Reuters.


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