‘The formula is simple: Jordan is helping the West to destabilize nations of the region, including Iraq and Syria. As a result, hundreds of thousands of refugees are crossing its borders, flooding its deserts and cities. Refugee camps are growing into sizeable cities. Local people get hard-hit by high prices, despondent salaries for the poor, and scarcity of basic services. As a result, the Jordanian government and its elites go out of their way demanding money ‘to tackle the refugee crises’; money from the donors, mainly those in the West and the United Nations. Later, part of this money disappears into the deep pockets of the Jordanian rich, burned in outrageously posh shopping and ‘lifestyle malls’, or on inflated salaries for those working for major ‘international organizations’. There are more and more luxury cars on the streets, while the situation in most of the refugee camps – those that are housing Syrians, Palestinians and others – remains appalling.’
‘Israel is ready to meet any Jordanian request to help fight off Islamist insurgents who have overrun part of neighboring Iraq, an Israeli minister said on Friday, although he believed Jordan was capable of defending itself.
Jordan is one of two Arab countries – along with Egypt – to have full peace treaties with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised Amman’s stability while echoing Western powers in pledging support to safeguard it.
Asked to elaborate on the statement, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said potential Israeli assistance could include sending troops or arms, though he saw that as unlikely. “We have an interest in ensuring that Jordan does not fall to, or be penetrated by, groups like Al-Qaida or Hamas or ISIS,” he told Reuters.’
Security Porn: Military technology showcased in Jordan at the annual special operations forces exhibition (SOFEX)
‘Nineteen countries have taken part in Jordan’s annual special operations forces exhibition. SOFEX is one of the largest gatherings in the world for military personnel, technology and the defence industry. Nisreen El Shamayleh visited the event in the capital Amman.’ (Al Jazeera)
Speaking to FNA, Bahraini opposition activist Ebrahim Al-Aradi said that the Jordanian riot forces have already arrived in the Persian Gulf country via Manama International Airport. “Eyewitnesses have approved the news reports by media sources and it seems that they will join the Bahraini security forces to suppress the upcoming February 14 protests,” he added.
He underlined that it is not the first time that the Al Khalifa regime seeks help from foreign forces to suppress the popular protests as the Saudi and other Persian Gulf Arab troops joined the Bahraini security forces in suppressing the people at the onset of protests more than two years ago. Yet, Al-Aradi underlined that the Bahraini people will mark the third anniversary of their revolution on February 14 irrespective of all suppressive measures.
- NATO Chief: No Plans for Alliance Action in Syria (The State)
- Hollande: France and US Want to Send ‘Strong Message’ (TDS)
- Paid Off?: France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract (Economic Times)
- Erdogan wants Syria regime change, not limited strikes (Al Arabiya)
- Denmark Backs Military Strike in Syria (TDS)
- Germany: No Plans to Join Syria Military Action (AP)
- Iran vows ‘immediate destruction’ of Israel if Syria attacked (RT)
- Obama Hypes Case for War, But Won’t Talk Strategy (Antiwar)
- Experts warn Syria attack could escalate violence and further destabilize region (Raw Story)
- Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria (Juan Cole)
- Sixth US Ship Now in Eastern Mediterranean ‘As Precaution’ (Reuters)
- Russia Honors Pre-2011 Contracts With Syria (UPI)
- Syria Pays for Russian Weapons to Boost Ties With Moscow (Daily Times)
- Jordanians Protest Proposed Military Action Against Syria (Washington Post)
- Amid Syria Tensions, Israel Deploys Iron Dome Battery in Greater Tel Aviv Area (Jerusalem Post)
- Syrian Strikes Would Battle-Test Chinese Radars (Defense News)
- Syrian Army Moves Scud Missiles to Avoid Strike (Reuters)
The wife and children of cleric Abu Qatada, who faces trial on terror charges in Jordan following his deportation from Britain, are planning to move to Amman from London, a family friend said yesterday.
“Abu Qatada’s wife and five children want to leave Britain and come to Jordan. They are currently preparing for that,” the family friend said, asking not to be named.
Military prosecutors on Sunday charged Abu Qatada, 53, with “conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts,” just hours after his deportation from Britain. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, celebrated the successful deportation of Abu Qatada to Jordan on Sunday by saying the long-running saga meant there would have to be “wholesale changes” in Britain’s human rights laws.
The home secretary, Theresa May, also promised she would remove “the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we want to deport”.
Liberal Democrat sources accepted the need to change “the phenomenally long deportation procedures in this country”, but said it was perverse to call for withdrawal from the European convention on human rights on the day it had been shown the ECHR was not incompatible with Abu Qatada’s deportation.
The radical cleric was finally flown out of Britain under police guard in the small hours of Sunday morning and has spent his first night in a Jordanian prison cell facing terrorism charges.
[…] The charges of conspiring to carry out terror attacks in Jordan relate to a foiled plot against an American school in Amman, and the alleged targeting of Israeli and American tourists and western diplomats.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the House of Commons home affairs select committee, said it had taken Home Office lawyers too long to conceive of the treaty with Jordan to allay Abu Qatada’s fears that evidence extracted through torture would be used against him. “Only 446 days after the home secretary said Abu Qatada would be on a plane shortly, he has finally reached the end of the runway,” Vaz said.
It was recently disclosed that the fight has cost the taxpayer more than £1.7m since 2005, including £647,658 for Abu Qatada’s legal aid costs and more than £1m in Home Office legal costs. May said she would be proposing reforms to the immigration bill in the autumn and restricting appeals linked to the right to family life in the ECHR. She said longer-term work was also under way on a British bill of rights for inclusion in the Tory manifesto, so opening the way for UK withdrawal from the convention, something she has backed.
The Jordanian government said on Tuesday that it had blocked 254 unlicensed news websites, 16 of them in the previous two days, using powers under a 2012 law criticised as a threat to freedom of expression.
Fayez Shawabkeh, head of the Press and Publication Department said: “16 local news websites were blocked in the past two days after carefully examining their situation.
“This brings the total number of sites the PPD blocked recently to 254, while 111 sites have obtained licences.”
“Public opinion here does not welcome the Americans, even if they say they want to protect the country,” said political analyst and head of the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, Oraib Rintawi.
“For Jordanians, the US military presence is linked to plots and conspiracies against their neighbours, which would impact the country itself,” Rintawi added.
Experts further said Jordanians are suspicious about the presence of US troops and weapons in their country.
Jordanian lawmakers have also voiced opposition to US presence.
by John Reed
“We think more troops in the region doesn’t help, especially now when we agreed with the Americans to bring the conflicting parties to the table to start to launch a dialogue,” Alexander Kalugin, Russia’s ambassador in Amman, told the Financial Times.
Abdullah Ensour, prime minister of Jordan, on Saturday said that the country was hosting 900 US military personnel, the first such public acknowledgment by a Jordanian official.
by Jason Ditz
The “Eager Lion” military exercise in Jordan was already used as a shoehorn to get US Patriot missile batteries and warplanes into the country, but with the drill finally coming to an end, the US dropped the revelation that 700 combat troops, supposedly sent there just for the two weeks, aren’t leaving either.
Instead, President Obama has announced that those 700 troops are just going to stay in Jordan, along with the about 300 that were already there, right along the Syrian border, until some unspecified future date when the “security situation will allow for their departure.”
CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since last year, it has been revealed.
Covert training bases were set up in Jordan and Turkey months before President Obama approved plans to arm the opposition fighting to oust Syria’s President Assad, U.S. officials and rebel leaders claim.
White House officials refused to comment on the Los Angeles Times revelations, but said the U.S. had increased its help to rebels.
The US decision to upgrade Syrian rebel weaponry has run into a major setback:DEBKAfile reveals that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan phoned President Barack Obama in Berlin Wednesday, June 19, to report his sudden decision to shut down the Turkish corridor for the transfer of US and NATO arms to the Syrian rebels.
Against this background, the US President informed Congress Friday, June 22, that 700 combat-equipped American military personnel would remain in Jordan at the end of a joint US-Jordanian training exercise.
They would include crews of two Patriot anti-aircraft missile batteries and the logistics, command and communications personnel needed to support those units. The United States is also leaving behind from the war maneuver a squadron of 12 to 24 F-16 fighter jets at Jordan’s request. Some 300 US troops have been in Jordan since last year.
Erdogan’s decision will leave the Syrian rebels fighting in Aleppo virtually high and dry. The fall of Qusayr cut off their supplies of arms from Lebanon.
by Jason Ditz
The Obama Administration is all set to start arming Syrian rebels, putting aside the ethical concerns and moving forward with that plan after a decision was made weeks ago to do so. There’s still no word on the no-fly zone out of the White House however.
And that’s got the hawks in Congress enraged, because having finally got the US sucked into at least directly arming combatants in the Syrian Civil War, they see a “no-fly zone” as the next logical step toward a full invasion and regime change.
Deployment of a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighter jets to Jordan was approved over the weekend, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said.
Delivery of the weaponry, as part of a multinational training exercise, was approved by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, CNN said Monday, noting a broader message is being sent.
“In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the government of Jordan,” said Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor, a spokesman at the U.S. Central Command.
‘Citing an official speaking on condition of anonymity, Jordan’sPetra news agency reported on Saturday that troops from countries including the US, Britain, Bahrain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen will take part in the military exercise, dubbed “Eager Lion 2013.”
The official added that troops from “friendly countries” will come to Jordan in the coming weeks to participate in the war games.
He noted that the maneuver, which will last for two weeks, would follow a “successful” similar drill in 2012.’