Jordanian king fears jihadist state in Syria

Jordanian king fears jihadist state in Syria

AMMAN - The Associated Press
Jordanian king fears jihadist state in Syria

King Abdullah II said it was only a matter of time before Syrian President Al-Assad’s regime collapses. AP photo

Jordan’s king warned yesterday that a jihadist state could emerge on his northern border in Syria with Islamic extremists trying to establish a foothold in the neighboring country.

King Abdullah II told The Associated Press in an interview that in his view, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was beyond rehabilitation and it was only a matter of time before his authoritarian regime collapses.

“The most worrying factors in the Syrian conflict are the issues of chemical weapons, the steady flow or sudden surge in refugees and a jihadist state emerging out of the conflict,” the king said.

Regional base for extremists

He warned that radicalization of Syria, together with the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, could ignite the entire region.

“Another extremely dangerous scenario is the fragmentation of Syria, which would trigger sectarian conflicts across the region for generations to come,” he said. “And also the huge risk that Syria could become a regional base for extremist and terrorist groups, which we are already see establishing firm footholds in some areas,” the king added.

“All these are extremely dangerous threats. I have been warning against them all, especially the chemical weapons threat, since the beginning of the crisis,” he said.

The King also said that Jordan continues to exert its utmost “diplomatic efforts to assist in bridging gaps in the international community so that an agreement can be reached on an inclusive political transition that preserves the territorial integrity and unity of Syria.”