Amman – Jordan has declared its border with Syria and Iraq a closed military zone after a suicide bombing on Tuesday killed six soldiers and injured 14 others near Rakban camp.
King Abdullah II of Jordan said that “anyone who assaults or attempts to harm Jordan’s security and unity will be met with an iron fist.”
A source at the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army said that the car carrying explosives had struck a military post dedicated for serving and helping Syrian refugees after approaching from the refugee camp, and that Jordanian forces opened fire. The vehicle exploded, the statement said, killing the security personnel and wounding 14 others.
King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the General Headquarters of the Jordan Armed Forces, where he met with top civil, military and security officials. He said: “Jordan will respond with an iron fist against anyone who tries to tamper with its security and borders”.
The King added: “Unity of all Jordanians will enable them to counter all cowardly attempt that target Jordan’s security and stability, indicating that: “such criminal acts will only increase out determination to confront terrorism and terror gangs that target army personnel who protect the security of the country and its borders.”
A source informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the car stormed into the post at the same time as the guards’ tower was targeted by mortar shells, then it headed towards the post dedicated for serving and helping Syrian refugees.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and King’s Advisor for Military Affairs and General Mashaal Mohammad Zaben issued a statement declaring the borders a military zone. The statement warned that any movement of vehicles or individuals there without permission would be seen as a hostile act.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said that Jordan has always warned of the increased number of Syrian refugees on the borders.
During his meeting with with the ambassadors of permanent members of the United Nations Security Council UNSC, the European Union and representatives of a number of UN bodies, Judeh said that number of Syrians on borders reached 102,000 people and the threats this issue poses, especially as most of those people came from northern and northeastern Syria where ISIS operates.
He tweeted on his account: “Terrorists strike again his time against our border guard. A number of fallen and injured #Jordanian heroes. This evil will be defeated.”
Interior Minister Salamah Hammad said Jordan’s security is a high priority and that the Kingdom maintains basic security backup so national security won’t be compromised.
He indicated that some ISIS terrorists and smugglers are in the area where the attack took place and they pose a threat not only to Jordanians but to international organizations which are there.
Minister of Media Affairs and Communications, Muhammad Momani, said all Jordanians stand united against such cowardly attacks. He declared that no new refugee camps would be built and none would be expanded.
Over 64 thousand refugees reside in Rakban crossing and their number is expected to reach 100 thousand by the end of the year which creates a problem for Jordan and the refugees.
Upon an agreement between the government and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jordan had been allowing around 300 refugees into the country each day.
Jordan has been subjecting the refugees to security screening to prevent any terrorists from entering the country.
Jordanian government reduced the number of checkpoints from 45 in 2012 to three main checkpoints east of the kingdom.