News / Middle East

Syrian Civil War, Refugee Crisis Challenge Jordan

Syrian Civil War, Refugee Crisis Challenge Jordani
X
October 10, 2013 5:02 AM
Syria's civil war and the refugee crisis it has created are growing challenges to the government in neighboring Jordan.
Syrian Civil War, Refugee Crisis Challenge Jordan
Syria's civil war and the refugee crisis it has created are presenting a growing challenge to the government of neighboring Jordan.

The impact of the fighting in Syria is felt far beyond its borders; it has drawn in militia from Lebanon and Iraq and seen refugees flee to Turkey and Jordan.

In an interview with Turkish television, President Bashar al-Assad said all of Syria's neighbors are paying a price for the war against him.

"If we look at it as though it is a raging fire that is burning society, it must extend its reach.  So it's impossible that Syria will be on fire and Turkey is cold, comfortable. The same goes for Iraq and Lebanon and Jordan," explained Assad.

In Jordan, there have been demonstrations against the Kingdom's alliance with the United States.  It is a public discontent emboldened by the war in Syria, according to former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli.

"Domestic unrest and political unrest and popular dissatisfaction with governmental policies is present in Jordan.  And looking at what's happening in Syria influences that," said Ereli.

Fighting in Syria unsettles Jordan, which is already at the crossroads of regional crises, claims American University professor Akbar Ahmed.

"Sooner or later that would affect the Palestinians, draw in Hezbollah and then back to the Shia/Sunni confrontation and the regional powers. And that is a nightmare for Jordan," said Ahmed.

The most visible impact on Jordan is more than half-a-million Syrian refugees. Jordan's King Abdullah told the United Nations that, "the damage and dangers are mounting."

"These are not just numbers. They are people, who need food, water, shelter, sanitation, electricity, health care, and more.  Not even the strongest global economies could absorb this demand on infrastructure and resources," continued Abdullah.

That challenges the structure of Jordanian society, says U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

"They are going through huge demographic changes following the refugee influx, unsettling their social and economic fabric," explained Guterres.

Ahmed points out that this is all happening at an especially precarious time for King Abdullah.

"Jordan is a very fragile state. So it has a charismatic, intelligent, wise ruler but a fragile base to it," said Ahmed.

The demands of Syrian refugees only make that worse as Jordanian leaders try to insulate themselves from the conflict.

"It requires money, which they don't have. It requires flexibility, innovation, reform which they do have and they are working on.  But I would say it is a very tense situation," said Ereli.
 
Jordan wants to avoid being drawn further into Syria's civil war and is part of efforts by the United States and Russia to find a political solution to a conflict that has already killed more than 100,000 people.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid