ISIS targets Jordan —and vice versa

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman last week to disucss the conflict over the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, and the war on ISIS. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also attended the meeting, where he reportedly urged Jordan to take greater responsibility in preventing violence at the holy site. Jordan, which signed a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, recalled its ambassador Nov. 5, citing the "unprecedented escalation in Jerusalem." In March 2013, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas signed a deal with King Abdullah, entrusting him with the protection of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. The deal confirmed an informal agreement dating back to 1924 that gave the kingdom's Hashemite rulers custodial rights over the holy sites. Under the terms of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, the Temple Mount remains under Jordanian custodianship through the Waqf authorities. On Friday Nov. 16, Israel eased restrictions and allowed men of all ages to pray at al-Aqsa mosque for the first time in months. (Times of Israel, Nov. 17; AFP, Nov. 16; BBC News, Nov. 13; Al Arabiya, Nov. 12; JP, Nov. 5)

The Jordanian city of Maan has become an open stronghold of ISIS sympathy. In June, protesters who took the streets after the death of a local man in a police house raid unfurled the black ISIS flag. Videos of that and other marches in the city where protesters declare for ISIS have been circulating on the Internet. Jordan's Ministry of Islamic affairs has issued an edict to the country's top clerics, presented at a mandatory meeting in Amman, ordering them to preach "moderate" Islam. (WP, Nov. 9; CNN, Sept. 30)

France has pledged to send six Mirage fighter jets to Jordan to strike ISIS fighters in Iraq. Media in the Arab world have reported claims that Jordan already has 4,000 crack troops fighting ISIS in Iraq. (Reuters, Nov. 19; Arab Daily News, Oct. 26)

  1. Jordan king: ISIS fight is World War 3

    Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House Dec. 5 stated that the fight against ISIS is a "third world war," as President Barack Obama pledged increase to his country from $660 million to more than $1 billion per year. King Abdullah said Jordan, the US and other powers   "have to combine our strategies" to combat ISIS, saying he believed it would be a "generational fight." (NaharNet, Dec. 6)