Even the Russians understand they can not mess with the King of Israel's Palestinian refugee reservation
Abdullah II of Jordan is quite the macho man. This has recently been revealed by Abdullah II of Jordan to top members of US Congress.
Fortunately for us though the Middle East Eye news site has been able to see the transcript of the talk given behind closed doors so that now the entire world can know this.
Speaking to top members of US Congress in January Abdullah told them all about how he "confronted" the Russians and how that henceforth kept Putin compliant "90% of the time".
To hear the story told Jordan and Israel "discussed an idea on how to keep the Russians in their place." After which when Russian aircraft approached the southern Syrian border Jordanian and Israeli fighters took to air and the Russians ran away with tails between their legs:
"We saw the Russians fly down, but they were met with Israeli and Jordanian F-16s, both together in Israeli and Jordanian airspace. The Russians were shocked and understood they cannot mess with us."
In the meetings that followed Abdullah II made the Russians understand he was eager to go medieval on them:
Abdullah said that the Russians were warned that “one bullet across the agreed border in the south, all gloves are off”.
That may sound bold but according to the Jordanian king there was a method to the madness:
"We overreacted, so they got the message."
The hard-line approached paid off:
Abdullah said that Putin respected Jordan’s position and complied with them “90 per cent of the time".
The plucky Jordanian king who leads a nation the size of Austria and a military that specializes in keeping down Palestinian refugees is now so well respected that he talks not only for Jordan, but for Israel as well:
The Jordanian king said that when he talks about the south of Syria with the Russians, Jordan talks jointly with Israel and that he speaks "on behalf of Israel" .
Nonetheless, the warrior-king of Jordan still knows that discretion is sometimes the better part of valor:
Abdullah said he intended to tell Putin at a meeting in Sochi that Russia was hitting FSA targets. However, an hour from landing, Abdullah found out that a Russian fighter jet had been shot down by Turkey and that the FSA were “jumping over a dead pilot shouting Allah Akbar,” and so he decided it was not the time to relay that message.
On a more serious note we should say that Abdullah also broached other, more believable subjects, such as Jordanian patronage for Syrian rebels in the south:
Abdullah said that Jordan and Russia then agreed on a natural border: ”We told Russia that we want to liquidate Nusra," he said in reference to the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.
"Russia asked that we give them their positions to hit them, but we refused so we don't give them a reason to hit the FSA [Free Syria Army] there."
Israeli sympathies for Al-Nusra:
Turning on his Israeli partners, Abdullah accused Israel of "looking the other way" in relation to Nusra's presence in the south, because they regarded them as an opposition force to Hezbollah. But the king maintained Nusra was still a problem.
Possible American intelligence assistance for the Russian strikes:
He said that the north never had de-confliction and "Russia was hitting everybody". He said that Russia argued that they were not getting targets. Jordan offered them specific co-ordinates which Amman received from the US to pass to Moscow.
And the interest of the Gulf Arabs in opening communication channels with the Russians:
Asked about "a sense in the US" that the Russians were allowed to hit the FSA but not too hard, and how Arab forces were engaged in this, Abdullah said that the FSA in the south was different from the FSA in the north. The UAE had contacted Jordan in order to co-ordinate with Russians in the south and the king said this could not have happened without Saudi approval.
He likewise claimed Turkey was deliberately sending terrorists to Europe:
The king said Europe’s biggest refugee crisis was not an accident, and neither was the presence of terrorists among them: “The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy and Turkey keeps on getting a slap on the hand, but they are let off the hook.”
And had no doubts that Turkey is in business with ISIS:
Asked by one of the congressmen present whether the Islamic State group was exporting oil to Turkey, Abdullah replied: ”Absolutely.”
In fact he claims that Turkey is propping up jihad not only in Syria but across the world:
The king presented Turkey as part of a strategic challenge to the world.
"We keep being forced to tackle tactical problems against ISIL but not the strategic issue. We forget the issue [of] the Turks who are not with us on this strategically."
He claimed that Turkey had not only supported religious groups in Syria, and letting foreign fighters in, but had also been helping Islamist militias in Libya and Somalia.