Jordan will imminently install a buffer zone against Syria, as the Hashemite Kingdom continues to deal with radical jihadis infiltrating its sovereign territory, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The UK paper reports:
The main aim of the operation will be to create a safe area on Jordan’s border, stretching across the southern Syrian provinces of Deraa and Suwayda, and including the city of Deraa, where the Syrian uprising began in 2011, according to people familiar with the plans.
Jordanian military officials are said to be chiefly concerned that without a buffer area, the country is a vulnerable target for Islamic State fighters. Frequent flare-ups continue to occur on Jordan’s border with Syria.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Reuters that there were “serious logical challenges” to creating such a zone, and that there is no “solid evidence” that Jordan is imminently deploying its military into Syria.
Washington continues to train Syrian opposition fighters in the country, and has not issued a public denouncement of any potential plans.
It also remains to be seen whether a Jordanian-backed force will be accepted by the Druze tribes in Suwayda province, who are known to be loyal to the Assad regime.
Thousands of Jordanians have left the country to join the Islamic State, according to reports. Some believe the greatest threat to the country comes from within, as the population remains vulnerable to radicalization processes. Recently, thousands have demonstrated in public in support of the terror group, Stars and Stripes reported.