Jordan’s army says its forces have killed several fighters belonging to ISIL to prevent them from crossing from southern Syria.
Military units used “all types of weapons” to shell a group of fighters who had come close to its side of the Yarmouk Valley in clashes that lasted nearly 20 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, an army source told state news agency Petra.
“We applied rules of engagement and members of the Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIL, also known as ISIS) gang were forced to retreat inside Syria and some of their members were killed,” the source said.
ISIL fighters have been staging attacks in southwestern Syria, as they face an offensive by troops loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
A coordinated attack by ISIL on a busy market street in the city of Sweida last month killed more than 200 people, many of whom were civilians.
ISIL and its affiliated Khaled Bin Al Waleed group still control pockets in southern Syria, as well as some western areas, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
A Jordanian army source told the Reuters news agency that ISIL fighters who fled from the border area were chased by Syrian army units conducting operations in the region aiming to drive them out of their last hideouts.
The armed group had sought to take cover among hundreds of civilians camped near the Jordanian border to escape the bombing of their villages during the offensive against the fighters, an intelligence source told Reuters.
The heavy fighting had displaced most of the former 40,000 inhabitants and caused many civilian casualties, the source said.
After the capture of the area, dozens of fighters from an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 who once controlled the area are believed to be now hiding in a rugged terrain that separates the borders of the two countries near the Yarmouk Basin, the source said.