Jordanian forces suffer a dozen casualties in raid against ‘takfiri’ elements
Over the past 17 days, Jordan has witnessed nationwide demonstrations protesting the deteriorating living conditions under King Abdullah II
By News Desk - December 19 2022

ARCHIVE – Jordanian policemen on duty in the city of Karak, Jordan, in the wake of a terrorist attack in the city, on 19 December 2016. (Photo Credit: Muhammad Hamed via Reuters)

The Jordanian General Security Directorate (GSD) issued a statement on 19 December, mourning the death of three of its members and the injury of eight others, in a raid to arrest the alleged killers of a police colonel in Maan Governorate.

Earlier on the night of 15 December, a Jordanian police force was ambushed during the nationwide protests, which led to the death of police Colonel Abdul-Razzaq al-Dalabeh, in the Husseiniya area.

Since then, the Jordanian King and officials vowed to restore order with an “iron fist” and ensure all criminals and vandals are brought to justice.

As a result, a unit of the GSD special forces carried out a morning raid on a terrorist cell in the Husseiniya area in Maan.

According to intelligence, a group of militants with a “takfiri-leaning ideology” are suspected of operating in the area and might have been involved in Dalabeh’s murder.

However, as soon as the force arrived, they were shot at with an automatic rifle, killing Captain Ghaith al-Rahahleh, Second Lieutenant Moataz al-Najada, and Corporal Ibrahim al-Shaqarin.

The shooter was killed shortly after, and four of his siblings were arrested at the compound. Five other relatives were also apprehended under the suspicion of having information about the ongoing “illegal activities.”

The GSD statement added that a large cache of weapons and ammunition was seized, stressing that investigations with those arrested are ongoing and will be announced in due time.

In light of these events, the Jordanian Arab Army issued a statement to mourn the death of the police force personnel and expressed its support for the ongoing campaign to arrest Dalabeh’s killers.

Over the past 48 hours, the Jordanian army deployed its forces around the capital Amman and roads leading to Queen Alia International Airport towards the Dead Sea region to ensure security ahead of the “Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership” conference on 20 December.

Their deployment was in conjunction with the increased police activity around the kingdom to arrest demonstrators and restore calm in the cities that witnessed protests.

According to an Al-Jazeera correspondent, the police arrested two people influencing the drivers’ strike on 18 December, including the former mayor of Maan, Majed al-Sharari.

Additionally, security forces arrested Sheikh Yasser Ahmed al-Khattab, who will be charged with inciting riots, illegal gatherings, unintentional damage, and setting fire to public property.

On the other hand, representatives of the protests in Maan signed an agreement with members of the parliament to end their 17-day strike, according to Arab News.

The agreement stipulates a promise by the lawmakers to satisfy the protesters’ demands to lower fuel taxes in exchange for ending the “disruption to traffic and supply chains.”

However, the results of the deal are yet to be seen, as an earlier agreement between the Jordanian Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) and the general union of truck and car owners collapsed as soon as it was announced.

Jordan has hiked fuel prices 16 times in the last two years and generated about $1.4 billion from the taxes as a result – but at the expense of the kingdom’s stability.

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