Senior Jordanian officials have expressed their concern that Syria could become a magnet for Jihadists from across the globe once Bashar al-Assad falls and they’re warning that their country and Israel could be the terrorists’ next targets.
In an article published by Haaretz, senior Jordanian officials are quoted as saying Syria could become a “black hole that sucks Jihadists from around the world.” As evidence, the Jordanians point to an incident two months ago in which their intelligence service was able to thwart a plan to attack shopping centers and Western embassies in Jordan. The cell planning the terror operation consisted of 11 Jordanian Salafists who had assembled in Syria and were working under the aegis of Al-Qaeda.
Jordan also expressed concerns about Turkey, which has allowed extremists in Syria to strengthen and accumulate ammunition at the expense of moderate and secular rebel groups. Haaretz writes: “Many of the advanced missiles financed by the Gulf states and transferred to the rebels via Turkey in the past few weeks have fallen into the hands of fanatics, despite the attempts of Jordanian and Western intelligence services to ensure that only the rebellion’s moderate factions would receive them.”
Arab media reports that the Jordanian army has declared a state of emergency, and that its troops have been issued gas masks in anticipation of chemical weapons being deployed by the Syrian regime. The senior Jordanian officials emphasized to Haaretz that were this to happen, Western powers will be required to intervene as no nation in the region, including Israel, can overcome Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.