Jordan to boost security ahead of Iraq summit as it battles nationwide protests
Jordanian officials instructed security forces to put an end to all demonstrations and to strike any attempts to destabilize the kingdom with an 'iron fist'
By News Desk - December 18 2022

ARCHIVE – Members of the Jordanian Armed Forces securing a road in the kingdom. (Photo Credit: Unknown via Euro Med Monitor)

State-owned Petra News Agency reported that the Jordanian army announced the deployment of additional troops across the kingdom, to ensure security ahead of the “Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership” conference on 20 December.

Security forces will be deployed between the roads leading to “Queen Alia International Airport towards the Dead Sea region.” A notable presence of soldiers and vehicles will be reported.

The decision to buff security comes as a response to the ongoing nationwide demonstrations that have swept the kingdom, to protest the deterioration of living conditions and the hike in fuel prices.

Despite this, Jordan does not plan to postpone the second Iraq summit, which will tackle the much needed support for Baghdad in the presence of Egyptian, Iranian, Turkish, and possibly French officials.

“We are facing great challenges related to food security, drug security, and energy security, and because they are challenges that go beyond the borders, we need regional and international relations to face these challenges,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein announced on 7 December.

In conjunction with the army, the Jordanian General Security announced an increase in patrols between governorates and inside cities, to ensure “stability and maintain the security of citizens.”

In a statement, the Public Security Directorate announced the launching of a campaign “to ensure the enforcement of the rule of law,” in riot-struck cities.

“We will confront anyone who attempts to attack public and private property, and we will deal accordingly within the provisions of the law with vandals,” stressed Police Spokesperson, Amer Sartawi.

The decision came after the murder of police colonel Abdul-Razzaq Abdul-Hafez al-Dalabeh on 15 December, and the injury of dozens of other police officers.

The surge in violence prompted the Jordanian King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein to visit Dalabeh’s tribe and offer condolences, before promising to strike the “enemies of stability” with an iron fist.

Additionally, the head of the Royal Hashemite Court, Yousef Issawi, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yousef Huneiti, paid a visit to the injured policemen on 16 December.

According to the Director of Public Security Major General Obaidullah al-Maaytah, about 49 Jordanian police members were injured during the protests.

Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh also paid tribute to colonel Dalabeh during a cabinet meeting on 17 December, attended by a number of ministers and security officials.

Khasawneh stressed the need to “maintain necessary measures to enforce and consolidate the rule law,” and asked security forces to arrest all those involved in the murder and vandalism.

He asked to end the public and private sector employees’ strike, and to unblock vital routes and facilitate the transport of goods.

Additionally, he instructed the Interior Minister, Mazin Abdallah Hilal al-Farrayeh, to “to follow up on the supply chains and secure the stock and its access to all.”

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