(photo credit: REUTERS)
King Abdullah II of Jordan said that Jordanian army forces have successfully fended off Islamic State fighters and secured the kingdom’s borders.
Speaking during a 60 Minutes interview that was aired on Sunday, King Abdullah said though the extremist organization’s insurgents have threatened the kingdom, his army has responded aggressively.
“We have retaliated to several contacts over the past several months to those who have come across our borders or tried to come across our borders.
So we have been somewhat aggressive to make sure our borders are defended,” he said.
Asked whether his borders were secured, the king stated, “Our borders are extremely secure.”
Having already been affected by the Syrian civil war in the form of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, Abdullah said Islamic State in Syria would now be more difficult to eradicate than in Iraq.
He went on to say that Islamic State’s successes may have been prevented if the international community had mobilized more efficiently to block foreign support and financing.
“The difference with ISIS [Islamic State], I think, compared to any other organization, is that they are self financing. They can produce within a year, in a year cycle, up to almost a billion dollars worth of oil derivatives that they are obviously selling at a low price, about $30 a barrel, which means they can pay a lot of foreign fighters to come to their country. They can buy weapons,” he said.
The king expressed his belief that Islamic State and its leader did not represent Islam saying, “I hate to use the word ‘heretics,’ whatever the words of those types are, but to even call himself a Muslim is to me just words that I don’t want to use on this program.”