Syria Warns Jordan Over Training Rebels

Jordan Downplays 'Speculation' of Syrian Retaliation

by Jason Ditz, April 04, 2013

Following reports earlier this week that the US is dramatically increasing Syrian rebel training along the Jordanian border, Syria has issued a statement warning that Jordan is “playing with fire” in allowing the training.

Syrian state television centered on the training in several reports, accusing Jordan of having “a hand in training terrorists” despite their public claims of wanting to back a “political solution.”

Jordanian officials sought to downplay the criticism, insisting the Syrian media was engaged in “speculation” about conceivable responses from the Assad government. Since the state media is run by that government, however, high profile statements are usually de facto press releases.

Jordan’s dual-track engagement, overtly backing rebels while giving lip service to a negotiated settlement, is something of a surprise since they are expected to be one of the nations most negatively impacted by a Sunni Islamist government taking power in Syria, and some of the rebel factions have openly talked about spreading the “revolution” across the region, with Jordan and Lebanon as the first nations in their sights.

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