The Minister of Jordan in charge of press relations, Mohamed Momani, appeared on national television to show case the excellent relations his country has with Syria.

According to the United Nations, Jordan is providing a safe haven to 650 000 Syrian refugees. However Amman thinks that the actual number is probably more like 1.4 million; a huge population considered to balance out the Jordanian demographics where 80% of the inhabitants are Palestinian.

During the war, Jordan tried as far as it was able, not to get involved. However the Kingdom, in which are stationed the bases belonging to the United States, France and Saudi Arabia, had become in self-defense, a support base for the jihadists for South Syria.

In February 2015, Jordan had strongly reacted to the execution of one of its military pilots, burnt alive by Daesh. In retaliation, Jordan then hanged two terrorists and forbade the jihadists trained in the Western military bases from leaving their quarters.

In the summer of 2016, relations between Amman and Damas had been strained when the Jordan army allowed jihadists to move freely from their Western military bases to Syria.

In his address, Mohamed Momani emphasized that Jordan and Syria had maintained high-level diplomatic relations throughout the conflict; that Jordan had never interfered in Syria’s internal policy; and that it had respected President Bashar al-Assad.

Furthermore, the minister tried to make out a positive assessment of the zones of de-escalation that had been established during the Astana negotiations.

The latter remarks had been interpreted as a warning to the jihadists present in Southern Syria and an invitation to them to surrender their weapons.

Following official declarations from Jordan, the Syrian Arab Army has taken back control of two posts at the Syrian border which had been occupied by the jihadists.

Anoosha Boralessa