Aug 06,2016 – JORDAN TIMES
The Golan Heights give reason to the region to worry.
The deteriorating situation there, whereby 1,000 jihadists affiliating with Daesh chose Golan as their base, poses a tangible threat that requires prompt action.
And with another 1,500 jihadists calling themselves Jabhat Al Nusra — which recently changed its name to Jabhat Jeish Al Fateh — controlling key areas in the area adjacent to the Jordanian border, the worry is magnified.
Abu Obeida Qahtan is the nom de guerre of a Palestinian who was one of Osama Ben Laden’s lieutenants.
Qahtan fought in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and now is the military commander of Al Yarmouk Martyrs brigades (Liwaa Shuhadaa Al Yarmouk), situated 8km from Ramtha, on the Jordanian-Syrian border.
In March 2013, Qahtan managed to kidnap some officers belonging to the United Nations Disengagement Force, stationed on the Golan, and forced Qatar to pay him $60 million for their release.
There are 150 rebel groups in Daraa and its suburbs. Recently they were encouraged to unite under the title of the “Southern Front”.
But Qahtan ordered his militias to eliminate all competition. Seven “Southern Front” commanders were killed by a bomb explosion in the village of Inkhil a month ago while in a meeting scheduled to be attended by ruthless Qahtan who did not show up as expected, nor sent condolences later.
Qahtan doubled the number of his followers three months ago when he financially induced the Muthanna Islamic Movement and Jaish Al Jihad to form the Army of Khalid Bin Al Waleed under his military command.
The new army has to prove its legitimacy to the recruits.
The presence of nearly 4,000 jihadi salafist terrorists in the Golan Heights area will have implications for Jordan, as their frustration is building up for not being able to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, due to his Russian and Iranian allies.
What exacerbates their fury is their feeling of impotence facing the Israeli deterrence of immediate retaliatory air strikes.
Jordan has to take all these factors into consideration.
Though the Jordanian Armed Forces and the General Intelligence Department are considered among the best in the region, and their highly qualified personnel form a deterrent against any open attack, worry is caused by any possible desperate individual infiltrator who belongs to Qahtan’s arm