BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel ready to help Jordan fend off Iraq insurgents

Militants from the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) celebrate the group's declaration of an Islamic state, in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad June 30, 2014. (AP Photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel is ready to meet any Jordanian request to help fight off Islamist insurgents who have overrun part of neighboring Iraq, an Israeli official said Friday, although he believed Jordan was capable of defending itself.

Jordan is one of two Arab countries - along with Egypt - to have full peace treaties with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Sunday Amman's stability while echoing Western powers in pledging support to safeguard it.

Asked to elaborate on the statement, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said that potential Israeli assistance could include sending troops or arms, though he saw that as unlikely.

"We have an interest in ensuring that Jordan does not fall to, or be penetrated by, groups like Al-Qaeda or Hamas or ISIS," he told Reuters.

"If, God forbid, there is a need, if such a request comes, if there is an emergency situation, then of course Israel will extend all help required. Israel will not allow groups like ISIS to take over Jordan."

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) are radical Sunni Islamist insurgents who have seized much of northern and western Iraq, which has borders with Syria and Jordan.

Steinitz drew a comparison with Israel's willingness to intervene during 1970 border skirmishes between Syria and Jordan as Amman cracked down on Palestinian guerrillas on its turf.

" Israel said that it would take action against the Syrian tank brigades that invaded Jordan, but what happened is exactly what I assess would happen now, too - the Jordanian army managed on its own to to halt the Syrian advance and destroy dozens of Syrian tanks and the Syrian army withdrew."

Today's Jordanian military similarly did not require help, Steinitz said, "as they are sufficiently professional and determined."

Following in Egypt's footsteps, the Hashemite kingdom made peace with Israel in 1994. But the countries had maintained discreet security ties since the early 1970s, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a February 19 speech in occupied Jerusalem.

Jordan's embassy in Israel declined comment on possible security coordination with the Netanyahu government.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

Israel is ready to meet any Jordanian request to help fight off Islamist insurgents who have overrun part of neighboring Iraq, an Israeli official said Friday, although he believed Jordan was capable of defending itself.

Jordan is one of two Arab countries -- along with Egypt -- to have full peace treaties with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Sunday Amman's stability while echoing Western powers in pledging support to safeguard it.

Steinitz drew a comparison with Israel's willingness to intervene during 1970 border skirmishes between Syria and Jordan as Amman cracked down on Palestinian guerrillas on its turf.

Jordan's embassy in Israel declined comment on possible security coordination with the Netanyahu government.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here