Jordan’s foreign fighter problem

Huffington Post reports: As Jordan reels from the horrific killing of one of its fighter pilots by Islamic State militants, the death also highlights how inextricably involved the country has become in the conflict in Syria.

Jordan shares an extensive border with Syria, and the proximity has made it one of the main recipients of refugees from the country, as well as a host for covert U.S.-led training of Syrian rebels. While this flow of Syrians into Jordan has raised concerns over security and strain on resources, there’s also worry over the significant number of Jordanians who have become foreign fighters in Syria.

Out of the countries adding to the militants in Syria and Iraq, few are in the same league as Jordan. According to the most recent figures by The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, Jordan has an estimated 1,500 citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq. Only Saudi Arabia and Tunisia are believed to have contributed higher numbers of militants, with high-end estimates of 2,500 and 3,000, respectively.

Both of these countries have millions more citizens to draw from as well, giving Saudi Arabia a fighters per capita ratio of 107 per million and Tunisia 280 per million, Radio Free Europe reports. Jordan’s ratio is reported as 315 per million, putting them as the top contributor of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria per capita. [Continue reading…]

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