Jordan enhances security in border with Iraq

Jordan enhances security in border with Iraq
Mon Jun 23, 2014 09:55:56

Jordan has beefed up its border defenses with Iraq after Takfiri terrorists seized territory close to its border in Anbar province and appeared to have also taken control of the only land crossing with its large eastern neighbor, officials and witnesses say.

Two officials said on Sunday that the border crossing almost 575 km (357 miles) from the Iraqi capital and nearly 320 km (199 miles) from Amman was effectively closed after Takfiri militants took control of the crossing.

A Jordanian minister earlier told Reuters that traffic had halted and there were signs of chaos at the crossing that serves as a major artery for passenger and trade flows between the two countries.

"The last traffic was around 7:30 p.m. (1630 GMT) and border officials are saying the situation is not normal on the other side of the border," Minister of State for Media and Communication Mohammad al-Momani said.

An army source confirmed that military units were placed in a state of alert in recent days along the 181-km (112-mile) border with Iraq, redeploying in some areas as part of steps to ward off "any potential or perceived security threats".

US ally Jordan was expected to formally close the border to traffic as soon as the Iraqi government formally announced its loss of control over the crucial trade and passenger crossing, a security source added.

The loss of the Iraqi border crossing with Jordan was not seen as an immediate security threat to the kingdom although some were unnerved by the prospect of Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups along the border with Iraq, another official said.


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