Jordanian king vows to protect Jerusalem holy sites

Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited the Zarqa governorate outside Amman. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 March 2019
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Jordanian king vows to protect Jerusalem holy sites

  • He said that he’s under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites
  • A Jordanian-appointed council oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem

ZARQA, Jordan: Jordan’s King Abdullah II is vowing to keep protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, calling it a “red line” for his country.
Abdullah said Wednesday, during a visit to the Zarqa governorate outside Amman, that he’s under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites but that he wouldn’t. Abdullah says: “I will never change my position toward Jerusalem in my life.” He added that “all my people are with me.” He did not specify what kind of pressure he was encountering.
A Jordanian-appointed council oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. It claims exclusive authority over the Noble Sanctuary, or Temple Mount, compound and says it is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction. Tensions often escalate at the site.


US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

Updated 18 June 2019
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US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Reuters first reported plans to send US additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.
Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”