TEL AVIV – The U.S. and Israel are in close communication with Jordan amid fears the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, will attempt to attack the Hashemite Kingdom, a close Israeli and American ally.
Middle Eastern security officials said the countries are sharing intelligence. In addition, Israeli drones, according to news reports, were conducting surveillance along the Jordan-Iraq border to detect any ISIS movements there.
Some reports indicate Israel or the U.S. could be drawn into the conflict militarily should ISIS attempt to storm into Jordan.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel needed to support “efforts by the international community to strengthen Jordan and support the aspirations of the Kurds for independence.”
“I think it is our common interest to make sure that a moderate, stable regime like (Jordan) is able to defend itself,” he said in a speech to the Institute of National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv.
Also Sunday, Yaakov Amidror, who served as Netanyahu’s national security adviser until recently, said that if Jordan asks Israel for military aid, the Jewish state should oblige.
“We need to help with whatever they may need in order to overcome the problems developing on their eastern borders,” Amidror said in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio.
Last week, the Daily Beast reported Israeli diplomats recently told American counterparts Israel is prepared to aid Jordan militarily if ISIS posed an existential threat to its neighbor.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper pointed out the large number of American F-16 fighter squadrons stationed in Jordan and reported there were about a thousand U.S. military personnel still in the country.
“The American contingent is meant to be a kind of logistical first strike team on the Syria-Jordanian border if one is required,” according to Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel.
Last week, WND reported ISIS members were claiming on jihadist websites that the group is preparing an operation in which more than 15,000 of its fighters will storm into Jordan.
The claims were made on Arabic jihadist websites in which ISIS is known to be active.
Jordan is not sitting idly as the ISIS threat grows.
In addition to reports of Jordanian forces operating inside Iraq, according to Theodore Karasi, director of research and consultancy at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, Amman is planning an ideological counter offensive against ISIS.
Karasi reports Jordan is counting on two Islamic clerics, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, also known as Isam Mohammad Taher al-Barqawi, and Abu Qatada, both known for their pro-al-Qaida views, to make arguments against ISIS advances into Jordan.
ISIL on Sunday declared the establishment of a “caliphate,” or Islamic state, which it said will spread from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq. The group demanded Muslims in those territories immediately obey ISIS.