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Jordan’s King Abdullah Sees a ‘New Taliban’ Rising in Syria

Posted on Jan 30, 2013
AP/Mohammad Hannon

A Jordanian boy wears a headband with Arabic writing that reads “there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet,” during a rally by Jordanian and Syrian followers of the banned Islamic-oriented Hizb Al-Tahrir Liberation Party in Amman, Jordan.

As he watches neighboring Syria “implode,” the king of Jordan worries that the country will fracture and become a hotbed of religious extremism.

King Abdullah tells CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that al-Qaida has been established in Syria for “about a year.” He also said his country has “got to really think” about the virtue of sending troops to Afghanistan when, “I think the new Taliban that we’re going to have to deal with is actually going to be in Syria.”

King Abdullah of Jordan speaking to CNN:

Well, al Qaeda is established in Syria. They’ve been there for about a year. They are getting certain supplies of materiel, weapons and financing, unfortunately, from certain sectors. So they are a force to contend with. And even if we get the best government into Damascus tomorrow, we have at least two or three years of securing our borders from them coming across, and to clean them up. So, you know, Jordan is today and has been committed since three weeks into the Afghan campaign. We’ve been there for many, many years. But today, when we look at Jordanian troops deploying to Afghanistan, we’ve got to really think, because I think the new Taliban that we’re going to have to deal with is actually going to be in Syria.

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—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.

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