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To protect the northern border with Syria

May 21,2017 - Last updated at May 21,2017

One of the major challenges for Jordan at the moment is the situation in the south of Syria.

With the battle in Mosul coming to an end and final preparations being made for a confrontation in Raqqa, Daesh fighters and cells are looking for a new base within Syria’s borders and are being pushed further south. 

There is a real risk that southern Syria will collapse into complete chaos with the terrorists’ logistics and support units, and Daesh fighters and operatives resettling in the southern border regions.

Jordan could find itself obliged to confront Daesh operatives on its borders, which will increase not only the threat of terrorism, but criminality more broadly as well.

There is also an increase of non-sate actors on Jordan’s borders, especially those ideologically opposed to the political system. For many, the risk of these actors is equal to that of Daesh.

These threats are not unlikely to result in a traditional confrontation in the border region, nor will they be a short-term challenge. 

The threat may spill over the border and requires a shift in the approach to dealing with terrorism to meet the new reality.

Following Mosul and Raqqa, Daesh is changing its tactics. It no longer has a strong base of operations and will likely fall back to the insurgency model of operation. 

Jordan has no interest in putting troops on Syrian soil. However, it needs to contain the approaching threat. As such, Jordan will continue to monitor developments in the southern border regions of Syria and keep its options open for specific and limited operations on the other side of the border to mitigate its risks as the US, UK and even Turkey do today.

The strategy of creating four “de-escalation zones” in Syria, monitored by international troops, works well for Jordan.

It has the potential to prevent the southern part of the country from collapsing into chaos and means that Jordan will not have to face the threat on its own.

The strategy proposed by Russia, Turkey and Iran has not faced US objections, yet, which means that it may be the strategy used to achieve a ceasefire and begin the stabilisation of Syria.

International actors should be part of this process, whose success is in Jordan’s interest.


The more partners are involved in the stabilisation of Syria, the higher the potential for success and the lower the risk of threat crossing the border into Jordan following the fall of Raqqa.

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