Jordan: Iran backed militia near border is major threat

Just days after pro-Iran militias took a stretch of land

14 August, 19:08

    Jordanian soldiers keep watch near the informal Rugban refugee camp at the Jordan-Syria border point of Al-Rugban area Jordanian soldiers keep watch near the informal Rugban refugee camp at the Jordan-Syria border point of Al-Rugban area

    (di Mohammed Ben Hussein)

    AMMAN - Jordan said Sunday it will not tolerate the presence of Shiite militia on its borders, just days after pro-Iran militias took a stretch of land near the country's borders.

    During a press conference late Sunday, government spokesman Mohammad al Moumani said having the militia on its borders was "unacceptable and rejected".

    "We consider this a strategic threat. We will take measures necessary to ensure the stability and security of our borders," said Moumani.

    The Jordanian official also hinted that the US and Israel, strong allies of the kingdom, would not accept the presence of these groups near the kingdom's northern border, but fell short of directly naming Washington and Tel Aviv.

    Rebel sources told ANSA that Jordan-backed rebels evacuated about 30 km of border land with Syria, leading Iran-backed militia to capture the land.

    Rebels have exchanged accusations of shirking responsibility in protecting the border area, which fell into the hands of rebels in 2011.

    The US has stopped providing rebels with weapons and other types of support, which is believed to have contributed to the advancement of militias.

    Jordan, a Sunni nation, considers Iran and its Shiite groups a major threat to its borders, but unofficially supports the capture of borders by Syrian authorities in order to reopen trade exchange with Damascus.

    Moumani told journalists that Amman was keen on resuming trade cooperation with Syria, but declined to give further details on plans regarding reopening borders with Syria.


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