Iran threatens to attack Jordan if it ‘cooperates’ with Israel: Report

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Jordan will be Iran’s “next target” if it “cooperates” with Israel amid Iranian missile and drone attacks against Israel, the semi-official Fars news agency reported early Sunday, while two regional security sources said Jordanian jets downed dozens of Iranian drones flying across northern and central Jordan heading to Israel.

Iran’s military is “carefully monitoring the movements of Jordan during the punitive attack against the Zionist regime, and if Jordan intervenes, it will be the next target,” Fars reported, citing, an “informed source” in Iran’s armed forces.

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“Necessary warnings were given to Jordan and other regional countries before the operation,” the agency, which is close to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), quoted the source as saying.

According to the two regional sources, the drones were brought down in the air on the Jordanian side of the Jordan Valley and were heading in the direction of Jerusalem. Others were intercepted close to the Iraqi-Syrian border. They gave no further details.

Two regional security sources said late Saturday that Jordan’s air defenses were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace.

They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring any drone activity coming from the direction of Iraq and Syria.

Residents in several cities in the northern part of the country near Syria and central and southern areas heard heavy aerial activity. A security source said the country’s air force was intensifying reconnaissance flights.

Jordan had earlier said it closed its airspace starting on Saturday night to all incoming, departing and transiting aircraft in what officials told Reuters were precautionary measures in the event of an Iranian strike across its border.

“The relevant authorities took the decision to close the airspace for precautionary reasons as a result of the surrounding security situation,” Jordan’s government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaideen said.

Mubaideen denied media reports that the kingdom had announced a state of emergency, adding they were baseless and there was no cause for concern among its citizens.

Jordan neighbors Syria and Iraq – both countries where Iranian proxy forces operate – and also is next door to Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

It has watched Israel’s war against the Palestinian group Hamas, another Iranian ally, with rising alarm for fear of getting caught in a crossfire.

Late last year, Amman asked Washington to deploy Patriot air defense systems to Jordan to bolster its border defenses.

Officials say the Pentagon had since increased its military aid to the kingdom, a major regional ally, where hundreds of US troops are based and hold extensive exercises with the army throughout the year.

In January, three US service members were killed and dozens wounded in a drone attack by Iran-backed militants on US troops in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border.

It was the first deadly strike against US forces since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in October, and marks a major escalation in tensions that have engulfed the Middle East.

with Reuters

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