Protesters March in Jordan Against Deployment of US Troops
Demonstrators gathered in downtown Amman today, April 26, following afternoon prayers to protest the sending of American troops to Jordan.
“No Americans in our country,” blared the voice of one young man over a set of speakers in the back of a pickup truck. The crowd repeated the chant as another stepped up to the microphone, calling out, “We reject the American army’s presence in Jordan!”
The United States announced on April 17 that it would deploy up to 200 US troops to Jordan’s northern border with Syria to potentially help secure chemical weapons or deal with possible spillover from Syria.
The demonstrators congregated in two marches, both assembling after Friday prayers at King Hussein mosque in downtown Amman before proceeding in opposition directions.
Of the marchers that walked toward the Royal Court, some carried signs that read, “No to the presence of American forces in Jordan,” while different chants praised the strength of the Jordanian army. The protesters were a mix of young and old participants, mostly men, though some women were present.
Raheel Saleem, a student at the University of Jordan and a member of Harak Shababi, a youth movement, said that the protest was intended to send a message to Jordan’s King Abdullah that “we don’t agree” with having US troops on Jordanian soil. Nor did they agree with “Americans having their hands in Syrian affairs,” she said.
Farouq Arar, a political activist at the march, agreed, adding that Jordanians would not accept the United States striking Syria the way it did Iraq.