Jordanian Special Forces are secretly fighting ISIS in Iraq, Syria, sources say
By Ali YounesAli Younes
Sources in Jordan have told the Arab Daily News in Amman that Jordan has dispatched 4000 of its special forces to fight the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. According to the sources who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity that the brigade strength force has been instrumental in recent military victories against ISIS in Zimar, in the Kurdish region and in Jurf al Sakhar around Baghdad.
The source also said that the Jordanian Special Forces were battling ISIS while wearing military fatigues with Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga insignias around Baghdad, and in the Kurdish region in the north.
Although the Arab Daily News could not independently verify this information by the time this report is being published. it is however, widely suspected in Jordan that the Jordanian government and military have made some kind of secret deal with the US government to fight ISIS with Jordanian ground forces on the ground with close US air support, therefore reliving the US government of sending US forces and beefing up the weak and ineffective Iraqi army.
The Arab Daily News has reported last month that Jordan’s king Abdullah has offered the United States and NATO allies during NATO summit in Great Britain to send ground forces to battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria. US president Barack Obama, however, has ruled out sending US ground forces to Iraq to fight ISIS. Many in the US congress support Obama’s air campaign to “degrade and destroy” ISIS but oppose sending US ground forces to the region.
Moreover, and in an interview with CBS’s 60 minutes last month, King Abdullah commented on the threat ISIS poses to his country and Jordan’s efforts to confront that threat saying that “We have retaliated to several contacts over the past several months to those who have come across our borders or tried to come across our borders. So we have been somewhat aggressive to make sure our borders are defended.”
Jordanian Special Forces are one of the best trained in the region and have been carefully designed to deal with different aspects of terrorist threats whether hostages rescue, or capture and kill operations. Jordan also trains regional forces on special operations in its King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center KASOTC which was jointly established and funded by the US Central Command in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Jordan has joined the US and other countries in fighting ISIS by conducting air strikes on ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq. Jordanian activist Mohammad Khalaf al Hadid, meanwhile, issued a statement yesterday in Amman accusing the Jordanian government of “ hypocrisy” and “ double standards” in dealing with the crises in Iraq and neglecting the recent Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Al Hadid, moreover, accused the Jordanian government of “sending the Jordanian military to fight along the side the Kurds in Kobani against the Islamic state.” Al Hadid also rejected the use of Jordanian air force and troops to support the Shia militias in Iraq against the Sunni population.” According to local Jordanian press reports, Jordanians are strongly opposing their military intervention in Iraq and Syria saying that Jordan should not support the United States or other Western countries in fighting ISIS; for fear that it might make Jordan vulnerable to terrorist attacks by ISIS or its supporters. Jordan is also home to an active Jihadist and Salafist movement especially in the southern city of Maan.
Ali Younes is the Editor of the Arab Daily News. He can be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org, and on twitter @clearali
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