Middle East

Syria press accuses Jordan of stirring revolt in south

A supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad holds up his picture during a rally supporting him and the army in Damascus February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

DAMASCUS: Syrian media on Thursday accused Jordan of trying to stir up the rebel front in the south of the country with support from the United States and Saudi Arabia.

"The southern front is today the most prominent after the subject was widely discussed under the aegis of the palace in Jordan," the Al-Thawra government daily wrote.

"Jordan's role, in coordination with the intelligence services of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel and with a little help from the Gulf countries, is no longer a secret."

The newspaper said international backers of the opposition were trying to stir up the southern front after a stalemate in peace efforts following a second round of talks in Geneva this month.

Rebels say they are preparing a spring offensive against Damascus to be launched from the south of the country.

The operation is expected to include thousands of Syrian rebels trained in Jordan by US and other Western forces, according to both Syrian regime and opposition forces.

"Signs of Jordanian presence in the American escalation after the second round of Geneva talks are more and more visible... and the tragedy continues with Jordan's approval of the American project to heat up the battlefronts," the daily said.

Last week, US President Barack Obama said during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah that he wanted to put pressure on Syria's government, which is battling an uprising that began in March 2011.

Syria has regularly accused Jordan of assisting the rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, and the Al-Thawra newspaper warned the kingdom over its involvement.

"As the saying goes, those who play with fire will get burned, and so what then about those who start fires," the daily wrote.





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