Syria denies it threatened to bomb Jordanian cities
The Syrian ambassador to Amman Dr. Bahjat Suleiman has denied reports about a secret visit paid to Amman by the Syrian deputy minister of defense, Gen. Asef Shawkat. A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Shawkat, President Bashar al Assad's brother in law, met on Friday with the Jordanian king, Abdullah II. During the meeting, according to the newspaper, Shawkat hinted that Syria will attack Jordan if it cooperates with foreign countries against the Syrian regime.
The Syria Embassy, however, stated: "These reports are completely unfounded. Syria had made it clear, more than once, that its only enemy is Israel and its supporters."
The Kuwaiti newspaper said General Assef Shawkat met the Jordanian monarch. The meeting was attended by Jordan's Director General Intelligence Department General Mohammad Raqqad who had reportedly visited the Syrian capital two months ago, and conveyed a message from the King to Syrian President Bashar Assad, during which he asked him to stop the use of force and comply with the international community's desire to see comprehensive political reforms.
According to the newspaper, which quoted "special Jordanian sources," Shawkat said that Damascus does not plan any evil to Amman, but is forced to consider Jordan as a hostile country, if the kingdom bows to international pressure and support U.S. military-led campaign with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces similar to what happened in Libya. Gen. Shawkat reportedly said that Syria's military leadership would deal with any "conspiracy" with bombing Jordanian cities with Scud missiles.
King Abdullah, according to the newspaper, was caught by surprise from the Syrian harsh message, and told Shawkat that his country is not afraid of military threats of any kind.