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

Ebola Brings Sickness, Fear, Anger

Cornell University Professor Stacey Langwick considers cultural, social aspects of outbreak More

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Violent Quarantine Clashes Hamper Liberia's Struggle to Contain Ebola

Anger, misinformation and mistrust of government hampering efforts to contain the deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid