Jordan, in relation to Syria, fights a double battle: humanitarian and for security. Prince Rashid bin El Hassan: We are in a difficult situation, we have thousands of people in refugee camps and hundreds of jihadists in the area
Jordan is fighting a difficult humanitarian and security battle, following the situation in Syria. Both because of the campaigns of the SDF and the Damascus Army (SAA) against Isis and the internal ones of the regime of Bashar Assad. Prince Rashid bin El Hassan, head of the special forces of the Middle East country police and president of the board of the Hashemite Charitable Organization (HCO), explained it to Defense and Security at the 65th Annual Conference of the “anciens” at the the NATO Defense College (NDC). “We are in a difficult situation, we have a number of refugee camps hosting several thousands of people and there are hundreds of fighters in the area – he stressed -. However we managed to open the first border crossing in last 4 years and we saw, only in a week, over 5,000 people return to Syria.”
Amman’s goal is to combine humanitarian engagement with security. The Prince: We are able to close the borders, but without stopping people
For Jordan “the crucial question is how to reconcile the humanitarian aspect, giving priority to the most urgent cases (the medical ones), facilitating the return to Syria of the refugees and at the same time identifying the people crossing the border – added Prince bin El Hassan -. There are extensive intelligence and logistics operations in this sense. To date we have not seen a massive movement towards our borders, but nevertheless we are able to close them when necessary. But without stopping people, which is the most difficult thing – he underlined -. Stopping them can be done, but the challenge for us is also to help them on a humanitarian level. On this we are working with Canada and other regional partners, for example with the use of the White Helmets. You have to work on a case by case basis. It is a very intense process “.
The escape route from Syria to Jordan “is not very popular”. But the only way left to the Isis militias, pressed by the SDF at Deir Deizzor, is that to the south
In relation to the possible entry into Jordan of Isis jihadists from Syria, the Prince was clear. Confirming that there are several routes, through which the Islamic State militiamen could try to leave the country, he explained that those towards his country are not easy to penetrate. “Our borders are protected and ‘difficult’ – concluded bin El Hassan -. So they’re not very popular. There are more viable alternatives on an individual basis “. The reference is to the fact that the SDF of Jazeera Storm are pressing the Islamic State to Deir Ezzor and Iraq has locked its western borders with Syria. As a consequence, for the militiamen of the Islamic State the only escape route is to the south.