"BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 P.M.) – Syria and Jordan have entered into talks mediated by Russia to reopen the Nassib Border-Crossing, Al-Masdar learned today from a military source. If the talks are successful, the rebel forces at the Nassib Border-Crossing will be ordered to withdraw from the area by their Jordanian partners.
Reopening the Nassib Border-Crossing would have a positive impact on Syria’s strained economy, as both countries were once key trade partners in the region.
While the two governments discuss economic rapprochement, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has resumed its offensive in the Dara’a Governorate, today, targeting the eastern part of the provincial capital in a bid to expel the rebel forces from the area." (Al Masdar News)
Leith Fadel and Al Masdar News are fairly reliable sources. A second source, Ivan Sidorenko, provided what appears to be a machine translation of an Arabic language report of a more far reaching development in this area.
“Daraa: A ceasefire is looming in the horizon, a ceasefire will start tomorrow at 12 PM from both sides (the regime by Russia’s mediation and the states funding the Southern front), the first stage of this ceasefire will be a 48 hours ceasefire, after that, a meeting will be organized to introduce a complete ceasefire. The ceasefire will include the stopping of reinforcements from both sides, stopping the barrel bombs & the warplanes strikes & heavy machines shelling by the regime, but will the “Bunian al-Marsous” operation command accept this? We shall see in the next upcoming hours” (@IvanSidorenko1)
Sounds like good news… or wishful thinking. The R+6 is slamming the rebel forces in Daraa with aerial, artillery and rocket strikes. They are making progress on the ground and are massing for an even larger offensive. If this all happens, it will be due to the negotiating power of Russia backed up by determined threat of serious R+6 military force in this area. I would think Jordan is not at all comfortable with the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade sitting so close to their border. I also believe many of the rebels in this area do not have their heart in the fight and only continue fighting because of the diehard AQ units among them. I don’t think Jordan’s heart is in this fight, either.
If this ceasefire does come to fruition, this will be a major success for Operation Grand Dawn. It will secure another section of Syria’s southern border and will facilitate the implementation of the southernmost de-escalation zone. It will also free up some major firepower for the eastward push to Al Bukamal and Deir Ezzor.