Tag Archives: National security

Are we ready for the new waves of Terrorism?

New regional waves of terrorism are targeting different countries in the region, mostly Turkey. After the call of the leader of ISIS ‘Al Baghdadi’ to attack Turkey, it is obvious that Turkey is becoming the chief target of the terrorist organization. The night club operation in Turkey represents new challenges in encountering terrorism; the ability of the terrorist to eliminate the security personnel even the police;  carry-out the operation, and escape the scene in a new style shows that this operation can be viewed as an “intelligence operation”. This recent methodology annotates an escalation in the level of sophistication of ISIS’s “traditional operations” but it also shows that the organization is penetrating the security system and social textile of Turkey; as it would be impossible for any terrorist to execute such an operation, escape the scene and hide within the same country without back-up and support from local protagonists.

Nonetheless, it is important to notice that the regression of ISIS’s organization in Syria and Iraq, along with the recent shifts following the battle of Aleppo causes not just Turkey, but also Jordan to face series of challenges and dangers.

First, the relocation of fighters from one front to other fronts intensifies the possibilities of individual operations and increases the organization’s desire to create new hot spots.

Second, Jordan’s most critical challenge is the rout of the battles in Syria after Aleppo, in which its compass might point towards the Syrian Southern border, placing increasing pressure on the Jordanian border and raising the danger ratio of repeated attacks. In this case, repeated attempts that aim at striking the national security and creating an atmosphere of internal disputes will take place; the organization’s subjects seek to exploit and employ it to the best of their interests.

Third, one of the prominent dangers of the next phase is characterized by the continuous regeneration of fighter cells and the activation of dormant cells that have been operating mutely during the past years, and have been able to build networks of allies in the areas in which they are located.

Fourth, the arrival of these cells to the “individual working” phase; they will be isolated due to the fall of the central order of the organization. These cells might be seeking to apply individual actions that depend on the surprise element, and usually aim at causing the most damage with minimal costs. This means uncomplicated operations such as; shooting at a security officer, or striking a crowded area of civilians using primitive techniques.

The increasing pressure on the fighters in Syria, and the Turkish borders being closed after Erdogan’s political shift might push the fighters into targeting new areas and finding exit routes from which they can use in order to escape this state of pressure.

Thus, the challenges Jordan is facing are enormous. The alteration from having to deal with direct threats means that Jordan has moved into the open and direct confrontation stage with these organizations. That is why Jordan has to change the framework and the system in which it deals with these organizations. The graphic organizer of recent assaults that targeted Jordan indicates obvious increase in the configuration of the operations, their method and objectives but still the target, so far, is the security system not the civilians. This means that they should be dealt with in a strictly firm manner and in a method that foresees the coming confrontations in order to avoid any further dangerous and aggressive future threats. 

Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh


After Aleppo’s battle Jordan national security is the priority

The battle of Aleppo is one of the most important developments to see an end to the Syrian crisis, even though it won’t be the last battle. The Syrian regime’s win in Aleppo might, logically, push the fight against the terrorists to the south.

According to the experts the battle of Aleppo is a major step for the Syrian regime in regaining control of the country. In the absence of a clear vision from America, Russia with its allies have seized the moment to recapture Aleppo. Russia made a deal with Turkey to limit its involvement and support for the rebels in Aleppo. With the Turkish borders closed, the advantage shifted.

Recapturing Aleppo doesn’t give the Syrian Army full control over Syrian territory but it refocuses the conflict into a single dimension, fighting terrorism. A Trump White House will no doubt support this, as the President-elect has frequently expressed that his priority in Syria is to fight terrorism, and not political change. With the potential for new leaders in France and other European countries later next year, we may see more support for a similarly single-minded focus in Syria.

The battle of Aleppo will push the fight down to the south of the country. While Turkey was engaged in the north due to the proximity to its borders, Jordan may be forced to take a similar level of engagement as the fight pushes into the south. The impacts that this battle on the Jordanian borders will certainly decide level of the Jordanian engagement in such battle.

Jordan is closely monitoring the developments on that front. On military level, the Jordanian army is -at the same time- applying intensive border surveillance activities and setting the rules of engagement for any possible attack on Jordanian borders.

Jordan faces many challenges and threats with a lot of border territory with ISIS controlled areas in the Jordan-Syria-Iraq triangle. During the battle in Mosul there were reports of ISIS fighters close to the Jordanian border and any attempt to recapture Palmyra by ISIS will also put pressure on Jordan. Moreover, the recapturing of the city of Palmyra by ISIS would put more pressure on Jordan. Especially on the area of Iraqi, Syrian Jordanian shared borders.

The challenges for Jordan are only likely to increase and become more difficult to address. They will require a new way of dealing with threats, not just militarily and logistically but also politically. Jordan needs strong relationships with the Iraqi and Syrian counterparts as well as the capacity to build strong alliances with countries that can help Jordan in taking actions on the ground to confront these threats.

Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh