Category Archives: Jordan

No let-up in Jordan’s book censorship policy

Abu Qatada Acquitted of Terrorism Charges

Jordan is America’s ‘Habibi’

André Vltchek writes for CounterPunch:

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.’

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Israel ready to help Jordan fend off Iraq insurgents, minister says

Dan Williams reports for Reuters:

‘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.’

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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)

Journalists Fight And Destroy Set On-Air Over Syria On Jordanian Talk Show

Jordan Sends Riot Troops to Bahrain to Help Al Khalifa in Suppressing Protests

Jordan Sends Riot Troops to Bahrain to Help Al Khalifa in Suppressing ProtestsFrom Fars News Agency:

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.

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Syria: Where key countries stand

map
Click on the above image to view the BBC report

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Family of alleged Al Qaeda-linked cleric Abu Qatada ‘plans to move to Jordan’ ~ AFP

AFP

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ THE NATIONAL

As Abu Qatada leaves, Theresa May vows to change human rights law ~ Guardian

by  and Hamza Al Soud
The Guardian

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ THE GUARDIAN

Jordan blocks 254 news websites ~ AFP

Two Jordanian university students surf the web at an internet cafe in Irbid, on January 23, 2001. The Jordanian government has 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.AFP

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.”

FULL ARTICLE @ AFP

Jordanian public opinion against US military presence ~ Press TV

SEE ALSO: Jordan air force pilot joins Syrian rebels (Ynet)

Press TV

A Jordanian political analyst says public opinion in his country is against US military presence in the kingdom.

“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.

FULL ARTICLE @ PRESS TV

Russia voices alarm over US troops in Jordan ~ FT

by John Reed
Financial Times

Russia has expressed alarm over the deployment of US troops and military equipment in Jordan, in an indication of the widening diplomatic fallout from the internationalisation of Syria’s civil war.

“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.

FULL ARTICLE @ THE FINANCIAL TIMES

US to Leave 1,000 Combat Troops Along Syria’s Border ~ Antiwar

by Jason Ditz
Antiwar

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ ANTIWAR

U.S. gives Syrian rebels missile training in secret camps ~ Daily Mail

Military maneuvers: An air and ground exerciise in south Jordan, where rebels are allegedly being trainedDaily Mail

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ THE DAILY MAIL

US troop buildup in Jordan after Turkey shuts US-NATO arms corridor to Syrian rebels ~ DEBKAfile

Tayyip Erdogan's U-turn on SyriaDEBKAfile

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ DEBKAFILE

Congressional Hawks Press Syria No-Fly Zone ~ Antiwar

SEE ALSO: Jordan’s King Tells Soldiers: We’ll Emerge Victorious From Syria ‘Threat’ (Antiwar)

by Jason Ditz
Antiwar

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.

FULL ARTICLE @ ANTIWAR