Karama border crossing, Jordan, Asharq Al-Awsat—The rising Islamist insurgency in Iraq and Syria has sent Jordanian authorities scrambling to boost border defenses in order to contain looming security threats.
Earlier this week, Amman took the decision to unilaterally close its borders with Iraq and mobilize military forces after Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) advanced to within a few kilometers of Jordan’s eastern border.
“I would like to assure you and convey the message that our borders with Iraq are secure, calm and protected and the armed forces have put all their capabilities to the service of protecting the borders,” Jordanian Border Guard Commander Gen. Saber Al-Mahayra told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Jordanian Border Guards are monitoring the situation in Iraq around the clock and Jordan’s armed forces have taken all necessary measures to contain any security emergency, the senior military official added.
Another senior official, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that Jordanian forces stationed on the borders with Iraq are capable of securing the country against any threat.
All units in the Jordanian Army “are prepared to send reinforcements to the forces deployed [along the border], including the Jordanian Air Force, which is poised to step in at any moment,” he said.
The comments come following news that Amman has imposed new travel restrictions on all men of military age. According to a report in Britain’s Financial Times newspaper, all Jordanian men born between 1976 and 1996 will no longer be allowed to travel unless they hold a valid military service book.
Meanwhile, Jordanian officials denied that ISIS is in control of the strategically important Turaibil border crossing, maintaining that the country’s borders are secure.
“We have nothing to do with what is going on in Iraq. As a sovereign army, we do not have any connections with anyone in Iraq and our duty is to secure our border against any threat,” the border guard commander added.