The Border Battle… The Extended Standoff

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 4 May / May 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Much information was provided by Chief of the Border Guard, Brig. General Saber Mahayra, to the Jordanian press delegation to the borderline territories with Syria, reported by “Al Ghad” reporter Mowaffaq Kamal to the newspaper’s website.

Until recent months, security threats to the borders with Syria and Iraq were static, more or less. But a sequence of variables changed and shifted expectations; the collapse of the cease-fire in the south of Syria post the Russian intervention, the evident ISIS presence in the Daraa countryside, and the clustering of tens of thousands of displaced Syrians close to the dirt barrier with Jordan. According to Mahayra’s statements, their numbers are touching on 60 thousand displaced Syrians hoping to find refuge in Jordan.

The Chief’s statements indicate as ISIS expanding further south, the Organisation’s aspirations to target Jordan also expand; much detail has been exposed by the General, prime of which are the deployment of airborne spy drones and planes by ISIS tasked to painting Jordanian targets, and the resort to carrier-pigeons to communicate with elements of the terrorist organisation in Jordan.

Attempts to traffic and smuggle drugs, arms, and people into Jordan frequently reoccur, and at an intensifying pace. Every day, border control units intercept arm and drug smuggling operation, as well as group infiltrations to Syria. Mahayra provided precise stats and figures, indicating the scale of threat at hand. The new thing about it, however, is the uncovering of smuggling tunnels, resorted to after crossing the borders became difficult thanks to the efforts of Border Guard units, and the present accessibility to technical and military resources and capacities necessary to secure the borders and keep watch around the clock.

Several conclusions can be entailed by the Chief’s statements.

First; that the level of threat on the Jordanian borders with Syria is considerably high, outstanding that on the borders with Iraq, with three categorical tiers to the situation: the threat from terrorist groups; the smuggling of arms and narcotics; and the influx of more refugees.

On the latter, according to information provided; we are facing the challenge of 60 thousand people clustering adjacent to Jordanian territory, placing the Kingdom under further international pressure to take in displaced Syrian citizens, in a time when Jordan’s domestic conditions do not allow for yet another influx of refugees.

 Second; is that Jordanian military, and respective security devices, having held for over 5 years since the crisis exploded, are still all capable of managing the threat, addressing the challenges of the situation, and of controlling the border with high adequacy and efficiency, with simultaneous alternative plans to address emergent variables, and the ability to proactively engage changes to an accurate, precise measure.

Third, and not at all least; is that these challenges are not going to recede. Contrarily, developments in Syria do not preface the arrival at a political settlement soon, and the collapse of the cease-fire in multiple provinces indicates the possibility of the general confrontation re-igniting. Therefore, State institutions, along with the various social powers in Jordan, need to adapt to the standing situation, and show readiness to provide all the support needed to the brave soldiers on our borders, face off terrorists and merchants of war, day and night, and the attempts to liquidate our borders and pry them open,

It was indeed be useful; the provision of all this information to the public, for the vast populace of Jordanians to realise the scale of challenge our Country stands to face, and the magnitude of the responsibility carried faithfully by our military and security forces, to sustain stability amidst a jungle of monstrosity.