Israel National News reports:
Jordan will place four Patriot missile batteries on its territory, to protect both itself and Israel against air strikes originating in Syria, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Thursday.
A European Middle East expert told the newspaper that the missiles will be stationed in northern Jordan, near the city of Irbid which is located close to Jordan’s border with Syria. According to the report, Germany will provide Jordan with the Patriot batteries, which it bought from the U.S. after the Gulf War in 1991.
I know exactly how Israel must feel about this. I have a couple of crabby neighbors, but also this one really nice neighbor that will go out of his way for me. I think he’d even be willing to put some Patriot missiles on his lawn to shield us both, if Bashar Assad moved in down the street. Which is a possibility, depending on how the next few weeks turn out in Damascus. I live in Florida, and it’s a popular retirement destination, with plenty of demand for ophthalmologists.
Of course, Jordan is not acting entirely out of altruism, as they share a few common headaches with Israel:
“The Patriot missiles would allow the interception of Scud missiles over the skies of Jordan, even before they reach Israeli territory,” the expert told the French newspaper, adding that Israel fears Syria will make use of M-600 Scud missiles, which have a range of 300 km, if Syrian President Bashar Assad is pressured enough and feels he has no choice but to divert attention by attacking Israel.
Experts have warned against a possible Syrian attack on Israel if Assad feels threatened by the anti-regime protesters in his country.
The Hizbullah terror group, which is backed by Iran and Syria, recently said it would do everything necessary to prevent Assad’s fall Assad as leader of Syria – even attacking Israel.
The group said it was working to ensure Assad’s preservation as leader of the country, and that it has some “surprises” for anyone that tried to remove Assad from power.
(Emphasis mine.) This comes as Syria faces an international call from the “Friends of Syria” group – including the United States, plus a number of European and Arab nations – demanding Assad “immediately halt all violence and allow humanitarian aid into areas hardest hit by his regime’s brutal crackdown on opponents, or face a tightening noose of international isolation and sanctions and an increasingly emboldened and powerful armed resistance,” as reported by the Associated Press:
“If the Assad regime refuses to allow this life-saving aid to reach civilians, it will have even more blood on its hands,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in opening remarks to an international conference of the Friends of Syria group.
“So, too, will those nations that continue to protect and arm the regime. We call on those states that are supplying weapons to kill civilians to halt immediately,” Clinton said. She was referring to China and Russia, which have blocked U.N. action on Syria twice previously.
Assuming Assad agrees now, after ignoring numerous previous similar demands, the U.N. and Arab League would send in a joint peacekeeping force made up of civilian police officers with the permission of the ruling authority in Syria, whether it is Assad or a successor.
The Turkish foreign minister said the Friends of Syria should “concentrate our efforts on empowering the Syrian opposition, which will be the backbone of a new democratic regime.” That sounds like the sort of thing Hezbollah would strongly disapprove of.