Jordan, US Prepare ‘Contingency Plan’ For Syria Fallout

Article Summary
Already battered by the fallout from Syria’s bloody conflict, Jordanian officials are communicating with their US counterparts to work out a way to prevent Jordan being dragged further into its neighbor’s crisis, reports Tamer al-Samadi.

United States and Jordanian diplomatic sources told Al-Hayat yesterday [Oct. 15] that there are joint US-Jordanian plans to deal with the Syrian crisis and its impending implications in Jordan.

A senior diplomat at the US Embassy in Amman told Al-Hayat that “the US is committed to a contingency plan with our allies in Jordan, to confront the developments of the Syrian situation and its implications in Jordan.”

The source declined to give any details.

US Embassy spokesman Silvio Gonzalez told Al-Hayat that “US troops are regularly and routinely present on Jordanian territory to support our common goals, particularly those related to the US military-assistance program management.” He too refused to go into details.

The Jordanian-Syrian border has witnessed ongoing clashes between the Syrian and Jordanian armies after Syrian shells fell on Jordanian border towns.

The spokesman for the British Embassy in Amman said yesterday [Oct. 15]: “Britain is closely monitoring all aspects of the Syrian issue, and the United Kingdom is still concerned with the chemical weapons that the Assad regime has and is threatening to use.

“Britain is collaborating with countries bordering Syria to improve border control and reduce the risk of weapons reaching a third party,” he told reporters.

Jordanian government spokesman Samih Maaytah said: “There is a misunderstanding regarding the presence of US and Western military bases on Jordanian territory.”

He told Al-Hayat that “all that exists is cooperation and the exchange of expertise with a number of friendly Western nations, including the US.

“Jordanian-international cooperation is aimed at protecting Jordan’s security and stability from any potential threats, especially from Syrian chemical weapons,” Maaytah said.

He continued that “we are concerned with tightly maintaining our border and our security, and the Jordanian army will be certainly able to protect its territory.”

It should be noted that Jordan, which has a shared border with Syria that exceeds 370 km, is hosting more than 200,000 Syrians who have fled the country since the events in its neighbor started in March 2011.

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Found in: syrian refugees, syrian crackdown, syrian, jordanian-syrian relations
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