Syrian missile hits Jordanian border town


A SYRIAN missile has struck near the northern Jordanian border city of Ramtha, in the second such incident in less than a week.

According to Jordanian government spokesman Samih Maaytah, an errant Syrian missile landed on the outskirts of Ramtha, 90 kilometres northwest of Amman and a few hundred metres from the border, late on Saturday during clashes between regime and rebel forces late Saturday in the restive Syrian province Daraa.

No injuries were reported. Maaytah said the incident has left Amman “deeply concerned”.

“This is a violation of national sovereignty, and whether it was intentional or not, such an incident is unacceptable,” Maaytah said.

Refusing to rule out the possibility of expelling Syrian Ambassador Bahjat Suleiman, Maaytah stressed that Jordan will take an “appropriate, proportionate response” to the violation.

Amman summoned Suleiman on August 19 to protest about the landing of four missiles in the Jordanian border village of al-Turra, where one child was killed and four others wounded.

The errant missiles come amid intensified clashes between Syrian government and rebel forces in the border region and a surge in defections to Jordan.

Border security has emerged as a point of contention between Amman and Damascus, which objects to Jordan’s ongoing policy of granting refuge to military defectors and former regime officials.

In a bid to curb the flow of defectors into Jordan, Damascus has stepped up military operations in the border region and opened fire on refugees attempting to cross into Jordan, triggering firefights between Jordanian and Syrian forces.

The border tensions come as Jordan abandons its previously neutral stance toward the Syrian conflict, with a recent strengthening of border forces that observers point to as a sign Amman is settling in for more hostile relations with its northern neighbour.

The Austrralian