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One eye on borders, one on the region

Jun 01,2015 - Last updated at Jun 01,2015

As the region continues going through dramatic developments, Jordan is closely watching Daesh coming closer to its borders, a development that poses new security and political challenges to the Kingdom.

The recent challenges started with the fall of the “Nassib” border between Jordan and Syria, which passed to Daesh in compensation of its loss in the battle of Qalamoun against Hizbollah.

This defeat has pushed the terrorist organisation towards new sites. It targeted the city of Palmyra, hoping to create a link with the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Moreover, by occupying a historic city like Palmyra, Daesh regained the attention of the world.

The new developments will make Jordan more concerned about its borders and internal security. 

At the same time, they would leave Jordan less time to be involved in a possible political settlement, either regional or Palestinian, in which Jordan should be completely implicated, especially because the issue of refugee is back onto the scene since the last events at Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus or even the current talks about some possible movement inside Ein Al Hilweh camp in Lebanon.

This would bring new challenges to all countries hosting Palestinian refugees.

It is important to consider two things in this context: Jordan’s declared concern about a Palestinian agreement with Israel Oslo style, which was reached without coordination with Amman; news leaked by a Lebanese newspaper about a Turkish mediation between Hamas and Israel, even if talks are limited to some issues such as Gaza port.

Challenges for Jordan’s security are magnified because of the lack of a reliable partner inside Syria or Iraq. This would push Jordan to adopt a new defence strategy taking into consideration a possible coming confrontation.

Jordan should avoid surprises, at least in the most serious files in which it is completely involved: refugees, borders and security.

It should adopt a strategy that maintains its political influence and a policy that enables it to block any unilateral initiative and to play a positive role in containing regional developments and their impact on the refugee camps.


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