Apr 2, 3:27 AM EDT

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say Syrian rebels and members of al-Qaida's local affiliate have captured the only functioning border crossing with Jordan and three nearby military posts.

Ahmad al-Masalmeh, a Syrian opposition activist based in the southern city of Daraa, says militants completed "combing" operations in the area early Thursday, adding that government forces withdrew in the direction of the nearby Sweida province.

Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that government forces have regrouped near the Nasib border crossing and taken "positions in new military points."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says helicopter gunships attacked rebel positions in the area early Thursday.

The Nasib crossing is considered a crucial gateway for Syria's government and for Syrian, Lebanese and Jordanian merchants.

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