Syria Troops Take Town on Refugee Flight Route

Rebels Say Move Attempts to Prevent Refugees From Fleeing

by Jason Ditz, September 06, 2012

After hours of shelling, Syrian troops marched into the border town of Tel Chebab, along the Jordanian frontier, which had been under rebel control for several months before falling today. Neither side indicated casualties in the siege, but the state-run news agency SANA claimed several rebels captured.

Rebels claim that the town was being used as a crossing spot for refugees from the civil war, and that the army seized it to try to stop refugees from fleeing. This seems unlikely, however, as Syria and Jordan have a fairly long common border and the loss of a single rebel-held town wouldn’t prevent crossings.

Jordan isn’t a particularly popular spot for refugees either, with a vast majority fleeing through the northern border into Turkey. Jordan has sought to place considerable restrictions on refugees.

Border towns have been particularly valuable for rebels primarily as a way to smuggle supplies into the nation. Again, this is far more true of the Turkish border than the Jordanian border, but with several Gulf nations openly backing the rebels they are eager to find any way to get weapons into the country that they can.

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