Jumana Ghunaimat

The Legitimate Concerns of Jordanians

تم نشره في Sat 13 February / Feb 2016. 01:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sun 14 February / Feb 2016. 07:20 PM
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Generally speaking, two main questions concern Jordanians today —questions that very much touch on concrete aspects of their reality. The first is related to the expected huge influx of Syrian refugees over the coming period, especially in the aftermath of recent developments as the Syrian Regime seizes control over the southern parts of Syria under Russian air coverage and support.

The second concern revolves around Saudi Arabia’s declared intention to intervene with 150 thousand ground troops in Syria according to leaks in the media. Concerns like these worry Jordanians who have mostly only their security and stability. Both considered their biggest accomplishments weathering through the “Arab Spring”.

The question regarding the influx of Syrian refugees rose after the recapturing of the city of Sheikh Miskin by the Syrian Army —Houran region’s fouth largest city after Daraa, Nawa, and Al Sanamein. Moreover, the “liberated” city is 34km away from Nassib, a Jordan-Syria Border Crossing.

Contrary to common concern, a ranking Jordanian official sees these recent developments as indicators of a different scenario unwrapping in Syria, one of a nearing resolution to the current situation.

Popular discontent on the possibility of more refugees flowing into the Kingdom is increasingly plausible, contrary to statements by Jordanian officials who say that these territories are almost empty, given that all their residents have already relocated —many of them into Jordan. And that the real fear, according to them, is of ISIS militants pretending to be refugees to enter the Country, many of whom are women.

This is a viable outcome the latter, but only partially; because as a result of the recent shifts in the balance of powers and achievements on the ground, many militants have fled and tried to enter Jordanian territories. What is more important, however, is that hundreds of thousands of Syrians still reside in the southern provinces of Syria, including the Houran region. These territories have not been completely emptied. This in fact weighs more on the possible increase of the cost of Syrian refugee influx into Jordan, especially in light of the latest London donor conference agreements, than it would on the possibility that the flow of refugees  would end soon.

The Supporting Syria 2016 conference did not foresee the relocation of Syrians ending any time before the end of the turmoil expected to be resolved by the end of this year, when all involved parties get together to arrive at a political solution.

The other concerns regarding the proposed ground intervention in Syria can be examined more clearly if we take a deeper look into Jordan’s official positions regarding the Syrian conflict and how the Kingdom’s Administration has been handling the situation on their end. Working to do without direct military confrontation in Syria, with full realisation of the effects of such resolutions locally, Jordan has always been a strong advocate of a political solution in Syria.

And although there are officially declared concerns regarding a full-on military intervention in Syria, the true answer to this particular issue lies in Jordan’s consistent political position towards the various volatile problems of the region. The Kingdom still stands its ground against direct ground confrontation in Syria, even in the war against ISIS, His Majesty the King repeatedly reassured in several interviews.

Accordingly, Jordan is not expected to engage full-on in a ground intervention or assault in Syria of any sort. Based on the givens above and on the dynamically changing situation, the Saudi proposition also seems unrealistic and inapplicable.

On another note, whether there is —or is not, in fact a plan to conduct a ground intervention in Syria depends greatly on America’s position on the matter, who in many occasions expressed their rejection of the notion, even though Saudi Arabian officials have made it clear that any actual military action in Syria will be under American command who —again, make their position even clearer with a big “NO” to tell the Saudis off.

 

It is the right of the Jordanian citizen to worry. Some, however, of their concern is viable, another bit of it is not. This surging concern and confusion comes from the radically shifting situation of regional alliances and changes in the area. And they will continue to grow until the world decided to put an end the suffering of the Syrian people.

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