Jordan king warns of IS on rise again

Source:AFP Published: 2020/1/13 21:08:42

Jordan's King Abdullah II (3rd L) reviews the Royal Guard of Honor during the ceremony of the 73rd anniversary of the Independence of Jordan in Amman, Jordan, May 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Mohammad Abu Ghosh)

King Abdullah of Jordan on Monday warned that the Islamic State (known as IS or ISIS) group was regrouping and was once again on the rise in the Middle East.

Months after the ousting of IS last year from their last ­Syrian holdout, Abdullah said his "major concern is that we have seen over the past year the reestablishment and rise of ISIS, not only in southern eastern Syria but also in western Iraq."

"We have to deal with the reemergence of ISIS," the king added in an interview with TV channel France 24. He also said many foreign fighters from Syria were now in Libya.

"From a European perspective, with Libya being much closer to Europe, this is going to be an important discussion in the next couple of days. 

"Several thousand fighters have left Idlib [of Syria] through the northern border and have ended up in Libya; that is ­something that we in the region but also our European friends will have to address in 2020."

Regarding last week's spiking of tensions between Iran and the US, Abdullah said he hoped that "in the next several months we set the right 

tone for the region, which is really to bring the temperature down."

"So far it looks like de-­escalation, we hope that that continues to be the trend. We can't afford instability in our part of the world.

"Whatever happens in Tehran will affect Baghdad, Amman, Beirut, the Israeli-­Palestinian [peace] process."

Jordan, whose stability is seen as vital for the volatile Middle East, hosts some 1.3 million refugees from neighboring war-torn Syria.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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