Jordan police clash with protesters over anti-smuggling efforts

The clashes erupted last week between police and protesters in the northern city of Ramtha. (AP/File photo)
Updated 25 August 2019

Jordan police clash with protesters over anti-smuggling efforts

  • The clashes erupted last week between police and protesters in the northern city of Ramtha

AMMAN: Jordanian officials have reached a deal with local representatives to end two days of clashes over government efforts to curb cross-border cigarette smuggling from Syria.
The clashes erupted last week between police and protesters in the northern city of Ramtha. Many residents of the impoverished city have made a living selling cigarettes that were smuggled in Syria for a profit in Jordan, prompting the government to tighten customs regulations.
In recent days, protesters blocked streets with stones and tires and threw fire bombs at police, who fired tear gas to disperse them.
Such anti-government violence is rare in Jordan.
Petra news agency and other local media reported the agreement to end clashes on Sunday.


Navy destroyer’s Beirut visit a ‘security reminder’: US envoy

Updated 54 min 45 sec ago

Navy destroyer’s Beirut visit a ‘security reminder’: US envoy

BEIRUT: The US Navy destroyer USS Ramage docked at the port of Beirut for 24 hours as a “security reminder,” according to Elizabeth Richard, the US ambassador to Lebanon.

“The US Navy is not far away, and Our ships were often near the Mediterranean, and will remain so,” the American envoy said.

One board the ship during its port call in Beirut was Vice Admiral James J. Malloy, the commander of the 5th Fleet, whose area of responsibility includes the waters of Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

USS Ramage is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, named after Vice Admiral Lawson P. Ramage, a notable submarine commander and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II. The ship specializes in destroying guided missiles launched from warships, aside from providing multiple offensive and defensive tasks.

Richard assured that “the security and stability in the East Mediterranean are of utmost importance to the United States and to Lebanon as well, and with regards to the issue of oil derivatives that concerns more than one state in the region, we hope that Lebanon joins in, as the issue of maritime security will soon acquire more importance.”

She assured that: “the presence of the USA in these waters is of common interest, and the presence of the American destroyer in Lebanon is a political message.”

Richard also said that partnership with Lebanon was not limited to military cooperation, and that the USA is “committed to help the Lebanese people through this period of economic hardship, and to supporting the Lebanese institutions that defend Lebanese sovereignty.”

Meanwhile, Admiral Malloy said during the reception that “our military relations with Lebanon transcends the issue of military hardware, and the Lebanese armed forces have set plans to improve its naval capabilities, and the USA will continue playing the primary role in supporting these efforts.”

Built in 1993, the USS Ramage was put into active service in 1995 with a crew of almost 300 officers and enlisted personnel. It is 154 meters long and 20 meters and could reach a top speed of 30 knots, or 56 kilometers per hour.