Arabic News Report: Jordan Preparing For Escalation Of Regional Conflict By Designating Israeli Border Closed Military Zone, Activating Air Defenses

November 16, 2023

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On November 15, 2023, the London-based Rai Al-Youm online daily published an "exclusive" report by its Washington, D.C. correspondent, claiming that Jordan is making preparations for a potential escalation of the conflict in the region due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.[1]

According to the article, information gleaned from "deep within some official and bureaucratic Jordanian circles" suggests that in addition to these preparations, Jordan is also anticipating "the collapse of the security and legal situation in the West Bank."

The article suggests that in recent days, Jordan has gone beyond a state of emergency into a "state of acute emergency," and may designate the area bordering Israel as a closed military zone. This comes amid "indications of a complete collapse in the circumstances of the West Bank," threatening to further complicate the situation in the region as Israel continues its military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Suggesting that Jordan is preparing for a "worst-case scenario," the article states, based on closed meetings and statements by the country's politicians and ministers, that such a scenario would involve the "forced displacement" of Palestinians – which the writer claims may already be taking place in Gaza – to be implemented in the West Bank as well. According to the article, Jordan is also afraid that additional forces will join the Iran-led Axis of Resistance, as reports point both to the mobilization of forces in southern Syria near the Israel-controlled Golan Heights and near the Jordanian border, as well as to Shi'ite protestors demonstrating at the Turaybil crossing between Iraq and Jordan.

The article reports that Jordan has activated its air defense systems with the most up-to-date technology and intensified security at its borders, including the Jordan Valley bordering Israel, in addition to the borders with Syria and Iraq.

Rai Al-Youm further reports that Jordan is preparing for the possibility of Yemen's Iran-backed Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthis) intensifying its attacks on Israel or a "general regional security situation" consisting of drone and rocket attacks on Israel from Syria and Iraq, or at the Jordan-Israel border. An escalation of anti-Israel military operations along the Red Sea could also hinder the operation of Jordan's port of Aqaba.

As part of Jordan's preparation for "worst-case scenarios," its Central Bank, according to the article, is taking measures in the event of a deterioration in the treasury's financial situation and the country's economic state due to the potential outbreak of "regional conflicts," as well as providing gas reserves, energy and oil security, and food security for the country.

Rai Al-Youm concludes that Jordan's government is preparing not for a scenario of "calm and an end to the Israeli aggression on Gaza," but for the "expansion of the conflict." According to the article, Jordan's geographical location has led it to take more extreme precautions than it has taken in many years.

A secret Iraqi government document leaked on November 2 detailed the preparations Iraq was making for a possible outbreak of war in the region.[2]

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