(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordan’s King Abdullah equated Islamic extremism with “Zionist extremism” in remarks on Monday regarding the fight against terrorism.
He made the comments during a meeting with Jordan’s president and members of the Lower House’s Democratic Gathering Bloc.
While saying that there was a civil war taking place between moderate and extremist camps within Islam, the Jordanian monarch added that at the same time, “there is Zionist extremism,” and that “stakeholders should acknowledge there is extremism in all camps,” The Jordan Times reported.
The king said Christians and Muslims in Jordan would work to “keep these threats away from our borders. We have to think together how to deal with the various challenges.
We are living in a new and changing world.”
He added that what was happening to Christians in Iraq and Syria was “a catastrophe.”
Abdullah predicted that the war against terrorism would take more than a few years to win and that “the security and ideological war might extend to 10 or 15 years.”
Meanwhile, a source close to the leadership of Islamic State told the Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi in a report published Monday that there were over 120,000 fighters in the organization active in Iraq and Syria.
Other sources have estimated much lower figures. According to American intelligence estimates, there are between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters, up from a June estimate of about 10,000.
A CIA spokesman said last month that the new assessment reflected stronger recruitment by the radical Islamist group since June “following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity, and additional intelligence.”
Separately Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh met with his Norwegian counterpart, Borge Brende, on Monday and said that “Israeli violations” in Jerusalem were undermining the peace process.
Judeh warned that “such flagrant and aggressive attacks will drag the region into a religious conflict that will subvert the peace prospects and fuel extremism, terrorism and violence in the region,” Jordan’s Petra news agency reported.
Brende, for his part, praised Abdullah for his policies promoting peace and stability, including his call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In related news, Jordan sent a humanitarian aid convoy of 12 trucks of food to Gaza on Tuesday, Petra reported.Jerusalem Post staff and Reuters contributed to this report.