King Abdullah II expresses concern over Syria's stability
In a recent speech at the al-Monitor/Semafor Summit in New York, King Abdullah II of Jordan expressed deep concern about the current situation in Syria. The Jordanian monarch expressed doubts about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ability to maintain control over his country amid escalating internal challenges.
"While I believe that Bashar may not be seeking a conflict with Jordan, the real extent of his control within Syria remains questionable," the king said. This statement comes amid growing challenges facing Jordan, particularly the increasing incidents of drug and weapons smuggling across the border.
King Abdullah stressed that this booming illicit trade is not just an internal Syrian problem. Iran and some elements of the Syrian government appear to be benefiting from and even manipulating this lucrative drug trade. "Our border security forces are working tirelessly to stop the massive influx of drugs. However, it's clear that various groups, including those within the Syrian regime and Iranian affiliates, are taking advantage of the situation," he said.
The monarch also drew attention to the ongoing demonstrations in southern Syria. As people take to the streets to protest deteriorating economic conditions, there's a palpable tension in the air reminiscent of the early days of the Arab Spring. Such unrest, King Abdullah warned, could trigger a new wave of refugees into Jordan and neighboring Lebanon. Underscoring the gravity of the situation, he remarked, "People are in a dire situation, struggling daily to provide the necessities of life for their families."
King Abdullah II's remarks provide a crucial perspective on the region's complex geopolitical landscape, underscoring the fragile stability of Syria and the spillover effects its internal problems could have on its neighbors.