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Southern Syria — Jordan’s new challenge

Feb 22,2015 - Last updated at Feb 22,2015

The escalation on the southern front in Syria is a clear demonstration of the extent to which fear is driving terrorists’ actions.

With Jordan at the forefront of the coalition fighting terrorism after the assassination of pilot Muath Kasasbeh, there may be some concern in Syria about a possible Jordanian intervention there. 

As such, action in the south of Syria could be taken to counter any potential military action from Jordan.

Jordan is seen very differently now because of the tough stance it took against Daesh.

Of course, Jordan does coordinate security with its neighbours, but there has been much speculation that the second phase of the fight against Daesh must include ground forces. 

Still, the popular, strategic and official positions in Jordan do not support the idea of any military intervention in either Syria or Iraq.

Jordan’s strategy is concerned with securing the borders, the main insurance against external threat.

However, due to the rocky relationship between Jordan and Syria over the last few years, there is very little trust between the two, and Syrians are suspicious of any move by Jordanians.

There are many challenges in this new atmosphere of mistrust and fear. 

There is a real risk of violent clashes in border towns as the Syrian army pushes the militants towards the Jordanian border.

Syrians are also suspicious that Jordan is exclusively attacking Daesh, and not other groups, such as Jabhat Al Nusra. 

They are likely to focus on pushing Nusra, who is based in the south, towards and across the border in order to force Jordan to engage.

This, despite the fact that attacking Daesh is not necessarily at the exclusion of Nusra; a comprehensive attack is likely very soon.

The region faces common risks and dangers, and should be seeking solutions through cooperation and coordination in order to halt the growth of terrorist organisations and end the political exploitation of the ongoing crisis.

Jordan is facing increasing challenges that are becoming more specific. Facing and defeating these challenges requires a clear political strategy that protects Jordan’s interests. 

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