Damascus/Amman- Since Thursday night, shooting incidents on the Syrian-Jordanian border made another ominous vindication of months of warnings: Syria's tumult threatens the very stability of its neighbors.
Armored vehicles and infantry were reportedly involved in the clash in the Tel Shihab-Turra area, 80 kilometers north of Amman. No casualties were reported, but tensions remain high. Unconfirmed reports suggest that this was just the latest in a series of skirmishes between Jordanian soldiers and Syrian regime forces.
The Jordanian border incident began with Syrian troops shooting at fleeing Syrians; the next day, a Syrian brigadier-general and two colonels reportedly defected to Jordan. There are also reports of Syrian agents prowling the refugee settlements.
Meanwhile, Jordan on Saturday called for exploring a political solution to the crisis in Syria and urged an immediate halt to the bloodshed in the country, the state-run Petra news agency reported.
At a press conference with his Canadian counterpart John Baird, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh urged the international community to shoulder its responsibilities regarding the impact of the Syrian crisis on Jordan and nearby countries.
Referring to the highest-ranking Syrian to enter Jordan, Judeh confirmed that defecting Prime Minister Riyad Hijab is still in the country.
"I am not in charge of Mr. Hijab's itinerary. He is in safe hands. He is in Jordan enjoying the safety and security of the country," Judeh told reporters, providing no other details.
The Jordanian minister, who said there are more than 150,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, expressed hope that stability will be restored in Syria so the Syrians can return to their country.