Jordan is boosting its military presence along its northern border, sending thousands of soldiers and heavy arms to keep Syria’s civil war from spilling into the Hashemite Kingdom.
The move follows similar measures by Turkey and Israel, which both recently placed anti-missile batteries near their borders with the war-torn country amid fears.
Thousands of soldiers, backed up by dozens of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery have begun streaming to the Syrian border, a high ranking Jordanian official told Israeli daily Israel Hayom in a report published Monday.
Jordan, like Israel, has become increasingly worried by developments in Syria and in particular the fate of the Damascus regime’s large chemical weapons stockpile. Last month it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II to discuss ways of preventing the chemical weapons from falling into the hands of extremist rebel forces or terrorists, though Amman nixed preventative military action.
According to Israel Hayom, citing a report in the Lebanon Daily Star, Jordan is acting as a go-between passing messages between Israel on one side and Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the other to coordinate preparations for the collapse of President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
On Sunday, Jerusalem placed two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in the north of the country, as fears grew among officials over Syrian chemical weapons being turned against Israel. The move followed the activation of several NATO-backed Patriot missile batteries stationed along Turkey’s border with Syria, meant to prevent the civil war from bleeding northward.
Jordan has also expressed concern over the sharp spike in the number of Syrian refugees arriving in the country as fighting rages on. Jordan currently hosts about 300,000 Syrian refugees and has warned that its supplies of vital resources are running low.