Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jordan declares Syria border 'military zone' after bombing

Jordan on Tuesday evening declared the desert border regions with Syria and Iraq "military zones" barred to civilians, after a suicide bomber killed six Jordanian soldiers near the Syrian frontier earlier in the day.

King Abdullah II had earlier vowed to hit back with an "iron fist" after meeting top civilian and military officials to discuss the attack in an area where thousands of Syrian refugees are stranded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Jordan is part of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Syria and Iraq, and has been targeted by ISIS jihadists before.

The Jordanian army said the dawn bombing killed four border guards, one member of the security services and one member of the civil defense. Fourteen soldiers were also wounded.

It said the suicide bomber set off from a makeshift Syrian refugee camp in no man's land near the Rukban border crossing in Jordan's remote north.

The driver entered Jordanian territory through an opening used for humanitarian aid deliveries and blew himself up as he reached a military post.

King Abdullah condemned the attack and said Jordan's armed forces would strike back. READ MORE