Jordan’s King Abdullah II has announced that his country is in contact with the Assad regime and Russia over security risks on Jordan’s northern border.
King Abdullah met with many elders and community representatives in the northern Badia, according to a statement from the Jordanian Royal Court on Wednesday.
“There is contact with the Syrian and Russian sides on security risks at the border,” King Abdullah said.
“The Arab army and security services are on the lookout for any threat that may impact the country,” he said. “We have issued clear instructions on this matter, drawing a red line that cannot be crossed.”
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King Abdullah did not elaborate further on his contacts with the Assad regime, particularly as Amman has directly accused Assad regime affiliates and Iranian militias of drug trafficking on the Jordanian border.
In recent days, Jordanian officials have issued statements that have scaled back rhetoric against both Assad and Iran.
Last week, Jordanian Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh said that his country was coordinating with Syrian regime security and military agencies on “border threats.” He also said that Amman did not view Iran as a threat to “national security.”
“There is dialogue, discussion, and coordination with the Syrian authorities by the [Jordanian] security and military agencies,” Khasawneh said.
While Khasawneh did not identify the smuggling networks, he linked the expansion of their activities to the decreasing patrols of Russian military police in northern Syria.
Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said that “the stability of southern Syria is in the national interest” of Jordan, and that Amman “wants a healthy relationship with Iran.”
The remarks followed an escalation by King Abdullah, who openly accused the Iranian side of “destabilizing Jordan’s northern border.”
In June, King Abdullah said that “Shiite militias in Syria have increased arms and drug trafficking,” coinciding with “Russia’s declining role in Syria” due to the Ukraine crisis.
In an interview with CNBC, King Abdullah added that the decline in Russia’s role in Syria has also led to the resurgence of ISIS.
Jordan’s border with Syria has been witnessing an unprecedented increase in drug trafficking for months, and has led several times to clashes between Jordan’s border guards and smugglers
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.