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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid