US-Iran war would bring ‘untold chaos’ warns Jordan’s King Abdullah II

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Jordanian King Abdullah II arrives to deliver a speech at the European Parliament on Jan. 15, 2020 in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AFP)
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Updated 15 January 2020

US-Iran war would bring ‘untold chaos’ warns Jordan’s King Abdullah II

  • The king warned of the re-emergence of Daesh in Iraq and Syria
  • He also said failure to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict endangers world peace

STRASBOURG, France: A war between the US and Iran would wreak “untold chaos” on the world, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned Wednesday, in a speech to European lawmakers on the tensions boiling across the Middle East.
Although Washington and Tehran are currently in a standoff after tit-for-tat military actions over the past two weeks, the king told the European Parliament that the danger has not passed.
“What if next time neither side steps back from the brink, dragging us all toward untold chaos? An all-out war jeopardizes the stability of the entire region,” he said.





“What’s more, it risks massive disruptions of the entire global economy including markets, but threatens a resurgence of terrorism across the world.”
The alarm was among a raft of other warnings by King Abdullah, a pro-Western leader whose country is a haven of relative stability in a Middle East roiled by proxy conflicts, sectarian violence and competition between powers inside and outside the region.
Urging greater leadership and “patience” to address the tensions, Abdullah expressed concern about developments in Syria and Iraq.
“What if Syria remains hostage to global rivalries and spirals back into civil conflict? What if we see a reemergence of Daesh and Syria becomes a staging ground for attacks against the rest of the world?” he asked, using an alternative acronym for Daesh.
Turmoil in Iraq, he said, risked tipping that country into a cycle of “recovery and relapse — or, worse yet, conflict.”
He also homed in on Libya, one of the biggest foreign policy issues facing the EU along with Iran.
“What if Libya collapses into an all-out war, and ultimately a failed state? What if Libya is the new Syria, just much closer to the continent you all call home?” he asked, saying such scenarios needed to be addressed now to prevent them becoming reality.




Jordanian King Abdullah II warned the European Parliament against one-state solution and said failure to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict endangers world peace. (AFP)

The Jordanian monarch, who carries the hereditary title of “custodian” of holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, also stressed to MEPs that Israel was trying to “impose an unthinkable solution” over Palestinians as hopes fade for a two-state solution backed by the international community.
He said Israel’s construction of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and “disregard of international law” could be summed up as “one state turning its back on its neighborhood, perpetuating divisions among peoples and faiths worldwide.”


Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

Updated 01 October 2020

Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

  • Captured gang tells of route to Yemen through base in Somalia

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: A captured gang of arms smugglers has revealed how Iran supplies weapons to Houthi militias in Yemen through a base in Somalia.

The Houthis exploit poverty in Yemen to recruit fishermen as weapons smugglers, and send fighters to Iran for military training under cover of “humanitarian” flights from Yemen to Oman, the gang said.

The four smugglers have been interrogated since May, when they were arrested with a cache of weapons in Bab Al-Mandab, the strategic strait joining the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

In video footage broadcast on Yemeni TV, gang leader Alwan Fotaini, a fisherman from Hodeidah, admits he was recruited by the Houthis in 2015. His recruiter, a smuggler called Ahmed Halas, told him he and other fishermen would be based in the Somali coastal city of Berbera, from where they would transport weapons and fuel to the Houthis. 

In late 2015, Fotaini traveled to Sanaa and met a Houthi smuggler called Ibrahim Hassam Halwan, known as Abu Khalel, who would be his contact in Iran. 

This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, Security analyst

Pretending to be relatives of wounded fighters, Fotaini, Abu Khalel, and another smuggler called Najeeb Suleiman boarded a humanitarian flight to Oman, and then flew to Iran. They were taken to the port city of Bandar Abbas, where they received training on using GPS, camouflage, steering vessels and maintaining engines.

“We stayed in Bandar Abbas for a month as they were preparing an arms shipment that we would be transporting to Yemen,” Fotaini said.

On Fotaini’s first smuggling mission, his job was to act as a decoy for another boat carrying Iranian weapons to the Houthis. “The plan was for us to call the other boat to change course if anyone intercepted our boat,” he said.

He was then sent to Mahra in Yemen to await new arms shipments. The Houthis sent him data for a location at sea, where he and other smugglers met Abu Khalel with a boat laden with weapons from Iran, which were delivered to the Houthis.

Security analyst Dr. Theodore Karasik said long-standing trade ties between Yemen and Somalia made arms smuggling difficult to stop. “This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security,” Karasik, a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, DC, told Arab News.

“The smuggling routes are along traditional lines of communication that intermix with other maritime commerce. The temptation to look the other way is sometimes strong, so sharp attention is required to break these chains.”