News / Middle East

Jordanians Wary of US Force on Syrian Border

Jordanians Wary of US Force on Syrian Borderi
May 30, 2013 5:21 PM
The United States has been slowly building a small military contingent on the Syrian border in Jordan as conflict rages in Syria. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more on the U.S. presence and its intentions in this report from Amman.
Elizabeth Arrott
The United States has been slowly building a small military contingent on the Syrian border in Jordan as conflict rages in Syria. 

The fighting in Syria has increasingly dragged in regional and international powers, even if - as in the case of the United States - the engagement appears reluctant.

The U.S. has plans to boost its small presence in neighboring Jordan, begun last year, to some 200 personnel - to prepare for a variety of scenarios, including a spillover of violence or the need to secure chemical weapons.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says military intervention “is always an option” but in the case of Syria, "an option of last resort."

Such assurances have not calmed the fears of all Jordanians, says journalist Assil Mezher.

"We all know that when countries move troops into other countries that means a war is coming on the way," said Mezher.

Jordan is already deeply affected by the conflict, now in its third year, taking in nearly half a million Syrian refugees and straining its limited resources.  It has also been pulled by an uncomfortable web of alliances, including pro-opposition "Friends of Syria," the Syrian government's supporters in Iran, and its cold-peace ally, Israel.

Jordan has outwardly tried to stay neutral in the conflict, but hosting U.S. forces places it more firmly with the Syrian opposition.

Some in Jordan welcome that move, but insist the U.S. must not intervene directly on the rebels' side, says analyst Salem al Falahat.

"This is condemned by the Arab nations and this causes harm to the Syrian revolution," said al Falahat.

The U.S. has made clear it understands the complexities involved and the risk of unintended consequences that intervention could cause.

But some in Jordan were rattled  when The Los Angeles Times last month quoted senior U.S. officials as saying up to 20,000 U.S. troops could be deployed, says analyst Fayez al Dwairi.

"The American position is not clear and not stable with regards to the Syrian crisis," said al Dwairi.

But as the U.S. draws down after a decade of military intervention in the region, even analysts unsure of American intentions say they believe the U.S. presence is likely to remain limited for now.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
May 31, 2013 2:15 AM
Queen of Jordan, no need of worry. You will get DOLLAR agaist these basis so you will enjoy your life and please do no spend any dollar on public welfare.Just to safeguard future you can deposit these dollars in Europe or USA. But we have seen at the time of crises these dollars never come to rescue dictator from their problems. For example Saddam Hussain, Hussni Mubarak,Kaddafi,Bhutto, Shah of Iran and so many personality of Islamic world.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs