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Syria accuses Jordan of hosting rebel training camps

April 04, 2013|By Ned Parker

BEIRUT -- A Syrian government newspaper accused Jordan of hosting training camps for opposition fighters and warned its neighbor that it was risking getting entangled in Syria’s 2-year-old conflict.

The rebuke printed in an editorial on the front page of state-run al Thawra newspaper follows recent U.S. and British media reports that describe Jordan as providing a place for rebels to be trained with American support. Jordan has denied the existence of such training camps.

One aim of the alleged training is to create a buffer on Jordan’s border that could host fighters and help handle the flow of refugees. More than 1.2 million Syrians have fled their homeland since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad. More than 400,000 Syrian refugees are in Jordan.

Al Thawra said Jordan was playing a game of “double ambiguity” that was bringing it close to a state of “drowning in chaos that not even need a match to burn in all directions.”

It added Jordan was on the edge of a “volcanic crater."

The conflict in Syria has aggravated tensions in the Middle East, pitting Sunni Muslim-led states against those with ties to Shiite Muslim-dominated Iran, which is Assad's main backer.

Last month saw the Arab League seat the Syrian opposition in Assad's place at the organization's meeting in Doha.

Syria's neighbors, including Jordan, worry that the Syrian conflict pitting largely Sunni Arab rebels against Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, could lead to a larger regional war.


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Special correspondent Lava Selo contributed to this report.

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