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Jordan tightens security on border

| Thursday, April 4, 2013, 9:24 p.m.

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan tightened security along its border with Syria, doubling the number of soldiers as President Bashar Assad's regime warned on Thursday the kingdom is “playing with fire” by allowing the U.S and other countries to train and arm Syrian rebels on its territory.

The warning, coinciding with significant rebel advances near the border, plays into Jordanian fears that its larger neighbor might try to retaliate for its support of the opposition fighters.

The stepped up security also reflects the kingdom's fears that the chaos from Syria's 2-year-old civil war could lead to a failed state on its doorstep where Islamic militants have a free hand.

The Syrian warnings followed statements from U.S. and other Western and Arab officials that Jordan has been facilitating arms shipments and hosting training camps for Syrian rebels since last October.

A front-page editorial in the government daily al-Thawra accused Amman of adopting a policy of “ambiguity” by training the rebels while at the same time publicly insisting on a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Jordan is “playing with fire,” state radio said.

“Jordan's attempt to put out the flame from the leaked information will not help as it continues with its mysterious policy, which brings it closer to the volcanic crater,” al-Thawra said.

Over the years, Syria has accused Jordan of being America's “puppet” because of its strong alliance with the United States and a “spy” for Israel, with which Amman maintains cordial ties under a peace treaty signed in 1994.

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