Jordan confirms it trains Syrian tribes

Jordan confirms it trains Syrian tribes
After accusations that Amman is working with the rebels to bring down the Syrian regime, Jordan has officially stated that it is working with tribes in the country to battle IS.
2 min read
23 March, 2015
Jordan is arming Syrian tribes to take on the IS group [Getty]

Jordan is training Syrian tribes to confront the Islamic State group, it emerged Monday.

Mohammed al-Momani, a government spokesman, announced that his country is "training the Syrian people and Syrian tribes in confronting IS".

Training the tribes

Momani's announcement was made during a press conference at a cabinet meeting, where he confirmed Jordan’s role in military training.

     "[This is] a sovereign decision to deal with the dangers that threaten [Jordan's] security.

- Mohammad al-Momani, government spokesman

He said this would enable the Syrian people to confront terrorism.

While Momani did not reveal details of the planned training, he stressed that the measure does not change Amman's position regarding the Syrian crisis.

Jordan has frequently stated it supports a political resolution to the Syria crisis through negotiations between all parties involved in the conflict.

"[This is] a sovereign decision to deal with the dangers that threaten [Jordan's] security,” he said. 

Momani called on "rational people" within the Syrian regime to realise that Amman's efforts in the crisis was "the most nationalistic position".

The Syrian regime has over the past two years accused Jordan of training armed opposition groups that it describes as "terrorists".

Damascus has also accused the kingdom of colluding to allow armed groups to enter Syria, something Amman has frequently denied.

Momani said the country's military training programme was part of efforts to support neighbours confronting "terrorism".

Jordan witnessed a coordinated bombing of three Amman hotels by al-Qaeda militants in 2005 that killed dozens.

A Jordanian pilot who was shot down over IS-held territory was also brutally murdered by the militant group earlier this year.

A three-pronged strategy

The horrific "execution" was filmed and posted online, leading Amman to take a tougher stance against the extremist group operating in Syria and Iraq.

Jordan's programme to arm and train Syrian tribes is similar to the country's programme in assisting Iraqi tribes and the Peshmerga to take on IS.

Amman's anti-terror policy is based on a three-pronged approach, Momani said.

One is the direct military approach. The second sees the government allow intelligence and security services overarching powers to monitor possible sympathisers in the country.

The government has also worked with moderate Islamist groups and clerics to highlight the peaceful nature of Islam. 

This, it is hoped, will lead young Jordanians away from extremist ideas, and show the world the kingdom's efforts in supporting a moderate interpretation of Islam.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.