May 18th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

Tense times on Jordan's border with Syria

Editor's Note:  Barbara Starr is in Jordan covering the Eager Lion 2012 exercise.  Read her reporting here.  Watch her reports on Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (4pET-6pET)

By Barbara Starr, reporting from the border crossing between the towns of Ar-Ramtha Jordan, and Daara Syria

In the no-man's-land between Jordan and Syria, tensions can be high. Tens of thousands of Syrians have escaped across this remote desert region.

They are being shot at by their own security forces as they try to escape, Jordanian officials tell CNN's Security Clearance. In fact, in a local hospital on the Jordanian side, they tell us they have treated many Syrian refugees suffering from gunshot wounds.

Recommended: The Syrian elephant in the room during military exercise in Jordan

But there is cross-border commerce as well. The Syrian border is an economic lifeline for Jordan.Taxis and trucks leave Syria with cheap goods, including food and other commodities that are sold in Jordan. Jordanian officials say their country still relies a good deal on this commercial traffic from Syria. The majority of Jordan's overland imports come over the Syrian border, the officials tell us.

That dependence on Syria has made for tricky times for Jordan's government. While Jordanians want Bashar al-Assad out of office, they have not supported providing arms to the opposition.  The government wants to keep peace in this very tense region, but it's also concerned that the Syrian government will retaliate.

A big worry is that an angered Syria would force Palestinian refugees over the border. For Jordan, a small country struggling with a poor economy burdened by a growing refugee problem of its own, a forced influx would be overwhelming.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. sjdsh

    Operation "Eager Liars" 2012

    May 23, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  2. David Hoffman

    Now if the West Bank and Gaza had formed a peaceful Palestinian nation years ago, then Jordan could get plenty of supplies through Israel and the Palestinian state. No need to depend on Syria would allow a more anti-Assad stance by Jordan. The danged Israeli-Palestinian peace process, that has no progress, produces another limitation in dealing with problems in the Middle East. A peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian situation will allow for better responses to other Middle East issues.

    May 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  3. islamisvile

    islam is a crime against all humanity.

    May 19, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • andrew jones

      All organized religoins are a crime against humanity and in particular christianity is a crime that shopuld be destroyed utterly for its crimes aginst humanity and woman. I say burn all believers and lest get on with our lives

      May 19, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  4. Billy Jack

    Do yourself a BIG favor check out Walid Shoebat's work, a former muslim terrorist who became born again. He tells it all even how the muslim nations fulfill revelation from their original name to todays. Definately clear it up for you, of course the muslims will lose big, cant fight omniscience

    May 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • KingAbdullahRules

      Born again, eh? So did we kill him for being a derpy terrorist and now he is back?

      May 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Reply

        Don.t you believe people can change?I don,t know your faith,but this shows the power of Christ and christianity over Islam and mohammed

        May 19, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Adam from Atlanta

      Your truly a useful idiot. Mr. Shoebat is nothing more then a brilliant businessman making millions off morons such as yourself. Enjoy, because mr Shoebat will be doing just that.

      May 19, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Adam

      WOW!!! Thank you for such nice words I would just like to say as Jordan's mom that you made our experience very merlmaboe and FUN !!!! Pictures are amazing you definately have a special gift. There was such a sweet spirit in your studio and I knew instantly that Christ was going to be a part of our day what an amazing family! Thank you Chris and Deanna and especially to Elizabeth for holding up walls and helping dad .what a sweet girl you are!!! May God Bless you and I can promise you that you will see us again! Melissa Gallaway

      August 3, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  5. KingAbdullahRules

    I agree completely. King Abdullah is the best!!! No question about that.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  6. Billy Jack

    By 46 you've heard about enough death to make you wanna die, tired of it

    May 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • KingAbdullahRules

      Death is crucial to population control. Don't forget!

      May 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  7. byebye

    Jordan is stuck between a rock and a hard place. War is lousy for almost everyone except the military-industrial complex. Syria is at war with itself–a civil war–the involvement of other countries is murky and secretive.

    May 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  8. Tony

    Poor Syrians .

    May 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  9. Thor the Badass Thunder God

    I'm pulling all for Jordan. King Abdullah has his shit together

    May 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply

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