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Enlarge font size Reduce font size Wall Street Journal: Jordan Stepped up Support and Transfer of Arms to Terrorist Groups in Syria

The U.S. Wall Street Journal revealed that Jordan has stepped up its support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria including allowing the transfer of Saudi- and Qatari- funded arms across the border with Syria, according to members of these terrorist groups and an Arab official familiar with the operation.

"Several shipments of arms—including assault rifles, Russian-designed antitank missiles and ammunition—have been delivered to the border in Jordanian military trucks and then taken into Syria by rebel brigades," the newspaper quoted terrorists as saying in an article published on Friday.

Those added that "Dozens of other shipments have been smuggled to Syria with the covert support of Jordanian border officials."

According to gunmen based along the Syria-Jordan border and a person involved in arms procurement for the terrorists, the article said "Saudi Arabia and Qatar pay for these arms and transport them to Jordan."

The Wall Street Journal noted that "such an energized supply route through Jordan would show how even regional states with the risk of significant blowback" are boosting support for the terrorist groups in Syria "with the tacit backing of Western allies."

It added that this support comes despite that the international partners regarding this issue have expressed their increasing anxiety over the growing presence of "Islamist fighters" in the ranks of the terrorist groups in Syria, which "threatens regional stability."

The article highlighted that "Jordan lies at the center of those fears. It shares a long border with Syria, on which it depends for its trade with Turkey and Europe."

The U.S. newspaper revealed that the "kingdom's growing involvement with the activities of Syrian rebels was outlined by six rebel officers and opposition politicians, two of which are directly involved in the procurement or transfer of arms into Syria."

It pointed out that several of the terrorist groups' members say they have met with Jordanian officials, and that a non-Jordanian Arab official "confirmed the characterization of the kingdom's role."

The article highlighted the the court of the Jordanian king, who sets military and security policy, didn't respond to written questions about stepped-up political or military assistance, nor did Jordan's foreign ministry or prime minister's office.

It disclosed that since the spring Jordan has played an increasing role in the support of the armed terrorists and in intelligence matters, according to what the Wall Street Journal said "several people familiar with the situation".

The newspaper quoted officials in the region as saying that Jordan has boosted ties with more leaders of terrorist groups in Syria's southern cities near its border, which helped facilitate transfer of funds and arms to the terrorist groups.

Jordanian intelligence officials, said the article, "routinely host meetings with these Free Syrian Army leaders, helping facilitate their movement back and forth from Syria and discussing military strategy," according to people familiar with the meetings.

Those people added that "Jordan also allows American intelligence officials to question and cultivate contacts with defected Syrian military officials."

The Wall Street Journal cited whom it said "a person involved in negotiations with regional countries on the supply of arms to Syrian rebels," as saying that the Jordanian officials "have received guarantees for economic aid and security aid" in return for their support to the armed groups.

It also quoted people involved in the transaction as saying that "The Syrian groups receiving arms from the Jordanian border are now connected to the military councils that have been vetted by Washington and others."

According to terrorist leaders, the article said some of the weapons which entered Syria through Jordan were destined for the southern Syrian border city of Daraa, while most of the arms, though, "were pushed north to the suburbs of Damascus, 60 miles north."

Other gunmen stressed that Daraa "remains one of the last supply routes to rebels in the capital, with pathways from the Turkish border and around Homs too risky."