CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.

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January 2024

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Iran-backed Iraqi umbrella group conducted first deadly strike on U.S. forces in region since Gaza war; Jordan’s military continued airstrikes in Syria aimed at combatting smuggling.

Iran-backed militants killed three U.S. troops at base in north east. In significant escalation, Tehran-aligned Iraqi umbrella group Islamic Resistance in Iraq – likely operating in Syria – 28 Jan launched drone strike on U.S. base in Jordan’s north east, known as Tower 22, killing three U.S service members and wounding at least 34; U.S. President Biden vowed retaliation, saying “we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner of our choosing”. Since Gaza war, militants have launched over 160 attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, although causing no fatalities until 28 Jan.

Jordan-Syrian border remained wracked by instability. After deadly clashes erupted between Jordanian security forces and militants/drug smugglers from Syria in Dec, Jordanian jets 4 Jan launched airstrike in Syria’s Suwayda province and 9 Jan launched four airstrikes in same area; security forces 7 Jan killed five drug traffickers in gun battle on Jordanian-Syrian border. Jordan 18 Jan reportedly struck two houses in Syria’s Arman town in Suwayda, reportedly killing nine people, including children. Amman blames Iran-backed militant groups in govt-controlled areas of Syria for surge of cross-border smuggling activity.

December 2023

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Security forces resisted cross-border armed raids by smugglers and militants from Syria, as military reportedly launched retaliatory airstrikes.

Security forces battled drug smugglers and cross-border raids from Syria. Notably, army 5 Dec killed three drug smugglers seeking to cross border from Syria during operation that seized over 200,000 captagon pills. Dozens of alleged drug smugglers from Syria 12 Dec crossed border at undisclosed location and exchanged fire with soldiers, leaving several smugglers and one soldier dead. Army 18 Dec said Iran-backed militants armed with advanced weaponry attempted to cross border from Syria’s southern Suwayda province into Jordan’s Mafraq governorate; armed forces reportedly struck vehicle and clashed with militants who fled back to Syria, killing several militants and injuring several army personnel. Armed forces that night reportedly launched multiple airstrikes in Syria’s Suwayda and Deraa provinces in retaliation. Earlier on 18 Dec, army said it seized nearly five million pills of captagon, marking one of its largest busts in years.

November 2023

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Kingdom slammed Israel for its “barbarism in Gaza”, recalling its ambassador and ruling out any further cooperation.

Kingdom 5 Nov recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest of Israeli military operations in Gaza, which killed over 14,800 Palestinians as of late Nov (see Israel-Palestine). PM Bisher Khasawneh next day declared “all options are on the table” in dealing with “Israeli aggression on Gaza”. FM Ayman Safadi 16 Nov declared kingdom would not sign any cooperation deals with Israel amid its “barbarism in Gaza”, saying: “Can you imagine a Jordanian minister sitting next to an Israeli minister to sign a water and electricity agreement, all while Israel continues to kill children in Gaza?”; Safadi also accused Israel of not upholding its part of 1994 peace treaty, namely to establish a two-state solution, “so the peace deal will have to remain on the back burner gathering dust for now”; he also asserted “Israel’s aggression and crimes [in Gaza] can no longer be justified as self-defence”. Further, Safadi 27 Nov said Israeli actions in Gaza constituted genocide.

October 2023

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Thousands rallied countrywide in solidarity with Palestinians as govt sharply criticised Israel’s “massacre” and “war crime” in Gaza.

Following outbreak of war between Hamas and Israel on 7 Oct (see Israel-Palestine), Jordanians rallied near-daily close to Israeli embassy in capital Amman in solidarity with Palestinians. Tensions rose as security forces 13 Oct dispersed around 500 protesters with tear gas as they attempted to reach area bordering Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Amman, despite Interior Ministry 12 Oct banning protests in area. Protesters in Amman 13 Oct demanded closure of Israeli embassy and abrogation of 1994 peace treaty with Israel, while thousands also rallied in Irbid and Zarqa cities in support of Hamas. After deadly blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza, security forces 17 Oct clashed with protesters near Israeli embassy as demonstrators sought to storm compound, injuring several anti-riot personnel. Meanwhile on diplomatic front, govt 17 Oct cancelled summit scheduled next day with U.S., Egyptian and Palestinian leaders to discuss situation in Gaza; FM Ayman Safadi said summit would be held later when parties could agree to end “war and the massacres against Palestinians”. At Cairo Peace Conference, King Abdullah II 21 Oct called Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza “a war crime” and lamented “selective” application of international law to Palestinian issue. UN General Assembly 27 Oct adopted resolution proposed by Jordan calling for “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza. Army 30 Oct said it requested U.S. to deploy air defence systems as tensions rise in region.

December 2022

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Strikes over rising fuel prices triggered anti-govt protests country-wide, leading to violent clashes with police; authorities reached deal with protestors mid-month, largely ending contestation.

Growing economic hardship triggered protests that turned violent. Truck drivers 5-9 Dec held strikes, particularly in country’s south, to protest against rise in fuel prices, as diesel cost had nearly doubled since Jan 2022. Protests spread across country as thousands 14-15 Dec took to streets to demand lower prices, notably in southern city of Maan, capital Amman and northern city of Irbid; young demonstrators reportedly set fire to tyres to block highways and attacked public buildings, while anti-riot police fired tear gas as part of clampdown. Notably, as clashes between protesters and anti-riot police 15 Dec erupted in Maan, unknown assailant shot dead police officer. Security forces 19 Dec launched raid on suspected killer’s hideout, killing one alleged militant who allegedly embraced “takfiri radical ideology”, arresting five and seizing stash of weapons; operation left three police officers dead.

Authorities agreed to meet protester’s demands, which largely appeased tensions. Protests largely ended after truck drivers and govt 17 Dec signed agreement in which govt pledged to meet protesters’ demands, although sporadic anti-govt demonstrations in southern provinces continued. Authorities 17 Dec reported that 44 people had been arrested over protests.

April 2021

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Govt accused former crown prince of plot to destabilise country. Authorities 3 April placed former crown prince and half-brother of King Abdullah II, Prince Hamza bin al-Hussein, under de facto house arrest for allegedly conspiring with foreign parties in “malicious plot” to destabilise country as police arrested over dozen other high-profile figures. Following arrest, Hamza 3 April recorded video in which he accused govt of “incompetence and corruption”. FM Ayman Safadi next day said plot had been foiled at “zero hour” and those detained will be referred to state security court. In sign of tensions subsiding, Hamzah 5 April pledged allegiance to King Abdullah; authorities next day banned publication of information regarding alleged plot. Abdullah 7 April said “sedition has been nipped in the bud”. PM Bisher al-Khasawneh 12 April denied that there had been “coup” and said Hamzah will not face charges. Authorities 22 April released 16 people detained on sedition charges.

March 2021

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Deaths of COVID-19 patients due to lack of critical medical supplies prompted health minister’s resignation and sparked protests. At least six patients 13 March died due to oxygen shortage in COVID-19 ward in hospital in Al Salt town, north west of capital Amman, prompting health minister to resign same day. Protests 14, 15 March erupted in Salt as well as Irbid, Karak, Aqaba, and Amman cities over economic impact of lockdowns and pandemic emergency laws; police used tear gas against protesters and detained over 200 in total. Police 24 March broke up protests held to mark 10th anniversary of Arab Spring pro-democracy protests, detaining dozens of activists. Meanwhile, tensions surfaced with Israel. Israeli PM Netanyahu’s first public visit to United Arab Emirates(UAE)was cancelled on 11 March after Jordan refused to approve Netanyahu’s flight path from Amman to UAE capital Abu Dhabi, following Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah’s cancellation of planned visit to Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade compound over dispute with Israel regarding security arrangements at site; Netanyahu in turn ordered Israel’s airspace closed to flights from Jordan – direct violation of 1994 Israeli-Jordan peace accord; however, move ultimately reversed before being implemented. FM Ayman Safadi 21 March publicised new military agreement signed with U.S. in Jan, allowing free entry of forces, aircraft and vehicles onto Jordanian territory.

July 2020

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

PM Omar Razzaz’s comment on one-state solution for Israel-Palestine conflict sparked public outcry, while teachers late July took to streets in capital Amman. After Jordan, Egypt, France and Germany in joint statement 7 July warned Israel that annexing portions of West Bank would have implications for bilateral relations, PM Razzaz in interview with British newspaper 21 July said Jordan would consider “one-state democratic solution” to Israel-Palestine conflict. Largest parliamentary bloc al-Islah 23 July condemned PM’s statement and called for his dismissal; King Abdullah 22 July met United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, reaffirming country’s commitment to two-state solution. Meanwhile, police 25 July raided offices of opposition-run Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) and arrested senior members on corruption charges, including union’s leader who was charged with incitement following his 22 July speech critical of govt; move comes after JTA threatened to stage protests over salary dispute that triggered month-long strike in Sept 2019. Attorney general 25 July suspended JTA’s operations for two years while placing gag order on media coverage of situation. After teachers 29 July took to streets in Amman to oppose union leaders’ arrest, clashes with anti-riot police erupted; several demonstrators reportedly injured and dozens arrested. State media 29 July announced parliamentary elections to be held 10 Nov. Jordan’s Court of Cassation 15 July ruled that country’s Muslim Brotherhood branch has no legal standing and should be dissolved; Brotherhood 23 July questioned decision’s timing, given prospective Israeli annexation of portions of West Bank, and declared its intent to appeal.

June 2020

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Israel-Jordan relations continued to worsen amid possible looming Israeli annexation of West Bank. King Abdullah mid-June reportedly refused phone call from Israeli PM Netanyahu; 16 June warned U.S. lawmakers that any unilateral Israeli move toward annexation would be “unacceptable”. Meanwhile, FM Safadi 18 June met with Palestinian Authority’s President Abbas in occupied West Bank to coordinate response to possible annexation; said annexation would endanger peace process and “kill” two-state solution (see Israel-Palestine).

May 2020

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Constitutional Court 13 May ruled that cancellation of natural gas deal with Israel would be illegal, citing inconsistency with Israel-Jordan peace treaty; Jordanian parliament in Jan voted in favour of banning gas imports from Israel. Amid rising tensions between Jordan and Israel, King Abdullah 15 May warned of “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with annexation plans in West Bank. Israeli security forces 20 May shot and wounded Jordanian south of Galilee Sea suspected of smuggling weapons into Israel.

January 2020

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Tensions between Jordan and Israel persisted. Jordan early Jan received first delivery of Israeli gas under new deal. Protesters 3, 10 and 17 Jan took to streets in capital Amman and other cities calling on govt to cancel deal. Parliament’s lower house 19 Jan passed law to ban Israeli gas imports. In Saudi capital Riyadh, Jordan and seven other countries on Red Sea and Gulf of Aden 6 Jan established regional alliance to ensure maritime security. After release of U.S.’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan 28 Jan, dozens protested at U.S. embassy in Amman and thousands protested across country 31 Jan.

November 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Around 400 activists 3 Nov demonstrated peacefully in capital Amman demanding Israel release two Jordanian citizens it detained in Aug and Sept. After Jordan late Oct recalled its ambassador in protest against Israel’s detainment of its citizens, Israel 6 Nov released Jordanian detainees and Jordanian ambassador returned to Israel 12 Nov. UN 15 Nov extended until 2023 mandate of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). King Abdullah II 21 Nov said Jordan-Israel relations at “an all-time low”.

September 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Thousands of teachers 5 Sept demonstrated in capital Amman to demand higher wages and clashed with security forces, who used tear gas to disperse protesters; 50 teachers arrested. Teachers’ syndicate (JTA) 8 Sept launched nationwide strike demanding govt raise teachers’ pay by 50% and accountability for security forces’ conduct during 5 Sept protests, talks between govt and JTA failed to reach resolution.

August 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Govt, as custodian of Jerusalem’s holy sites, condemned Israel’s 11 Aug decision to allow Jews access to Holy Esplanade on first day of Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, which coincided with Jewish holiday Tisha B’Av. Jordanian FM 18 Aug summoned Israel’s ambassador demanding end to Israeli violations at Holy Esplanade and next day MPs recommended expelling Israeli ambassador and reconsidering Israel-Jordan peace treaty. Following govt decision to impose anti-smuggling measures, demonstrators 23-24 Aug clashed with security forces in Ramtha on border with Syria.

July 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Govt 16 July restored diplomatic ties with Qatar, two years after breaking them off over Gulf crisis.

June 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

U.S. 12 June announced Jordan would attend U.S.-led conference 25-26 June in Bahrain aimed at building support for Middle East peace plan among Arab states. Hundreds took to streets of capital Amman 21 June in protest against peace plan and called for govt to boycott Bahrain conference. Govt 22 June announced it would attend. U.S. same day unveiled economic part of peace plan which would include $7.4bn of investments in Jordan over ten years.

February 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Two blasts in Wadi Al Azraq area, Balqa governorate in west 14 Feb killed five people, including four security officers; govt 15 Feb said explosives matched material used by militant cell in Fuheis, Balqa governorate in Aug 2018. Arrest of two men who refused to show identification in Anjara, Ajloun governorate in north west 15 Feb triggered riots and clashes with police 16 Feb, one person killed.

January 2019

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Foreign ministry 22 Jan announced it had appointed chargé d’affaires to Syria to work in embassy in Damascus after warming of ties.

December 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Hundreds demonstrated throughout Dec against austerity measures and high unemployment; clashes between police and protestors 13 Dec in capital Amman led to arrest of seventeen protestors.

November 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Parliamentary delegation 19 Nov visited Syrian President Assad for first time since 2011 to discuss cooperation in trade, tourism and transport; including reopening of Ramtha-Daraa border, shut for seven years.

August 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Assailants 10 Aug detonated bomb under police car at music festival in Fuheis, mainly Christian town 20km north west of capital Amman, killing one officer. Security forces 12 Aug traced suspects to building in nearby Salt; during raid suspects detonated explosives causing building to partially collapse; four security personnel and at least three suspects reportedly killed. Interior minister 13 Aug said assailants were Islamic State supporters and had planned more attacks.

June 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Amid widespread anger at austerity measures, thousands protested late May and early June after govt adopted draft law that would, if approved by parliament, increase income tax. As demanded by protesters, PM Hani al-Mulki and cabinet resigned 4 June. King Abdullah next day appointed Education Minister and former World Bank economist Omar al-Razzaz as PM and asked him to form new govt; protests subsided 7 June after al-Razzaz pledged to repeal proposed tax bill. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates 11 June pledged $2.5bn to stabilise country. Qatar 13 June pledged $500mn investment package, including 10,000 jobs for Jordanians in Qatar. World Bank 28 June pledged $500mn to support economic reforms.

March 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Govt 29 March accepted new Israeli ambassador to Jordan, whom Israel appointed in Feb; normal relations interrupted following July 2017 killing of two Jordanians by Israeli embassy guard at Israel’s embassy in Amman.

February 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Israel 8 Feb appointed new ambassador to Jordan, after resuming normal bilateral relations mid-Jan, interrupted by July 2017 killing of two Jordanians by Israeli embassy guard at Israel’s embassy in Amman; same day Jordan complained it was “not officially notified” of appointment by Israel.

January 2018

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Israel and Jordan 18 Jan announced end to bilateral diplomatic crisis resulting from July 2017 killing of two Jordanians by Israeli guard at Israel’s embassy in Jordan and Israel agreed to pay compensation; dispute remained over whether Israel had apologised (or merely expressed regret) and whether it had committed to try guard (or merely continue internal review).

December 2017

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

International Criminal Court 11 Dec said it would refer Jordan to UN Security Council for hosting Sudanese President Bashir in March, whom Jordan as signatory to Rome Statute is required to arrest.

November 2017

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

U.S. and Russia 11 Nov announced details of ceasefire in south west Syria, first agreed between them and Jordan 7 July: non-jihadist Syrian opposition to maintain control of currently held areas and work with U.S. and Jordan to expel foreign fighters, and Russia to work with Syrian regime to end presence of non-Syrian, Iran-backed forces in 5km-wide belt along Jordanian border and opposition-held areas (see Syria).

August 2017

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Govt 14 Aug barred Israeli ambassador’s return until Israeli embassy guard who killed two Jordanians at Israel’s embassy in Amman 23 July had been investigated and tried (see Israel/Palestine).

July 2017

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Israeli guard at Israel’s embassy in Amman 23 July shot dead seventeen-year-old Jordanian, who reportedly attacked him with screwdriver, and bystander. After brief standoff, Israel allowed authorities to question guard in embassy; Israel withdrew all its embassy staff including guard 25 July. King Abdullah 27 July said Israeli PM Netanyahu’s handling of incident was “provocative” and “absolutely unacceptable” and conditioned return of Israel’s ambassador to Jordan on Israeli authorities opening criminal inquiry against guard in Israel (see Israel-Palestine).

June 2017

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Army 3 June repelled attack by unidentified militants from Syrian territory at Rukban on border with Syria in north, killing several.

December 2016

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Four Islamist militants 18 Dec clashed with security forces in Karak in south; four militants, seven police and three civilians reportedly killed, Islamic State claimed responsibility. Police clashed with suspected militants 20 Dec near Karak, four police and one suspect killed, two arrested.

June 2016

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Suicide car bombing claimed by Islamic State (IS) 21 June at al-Rukban on Jordan-Syria border killed seven soldiers and injured thirteen others, prompted govt to close border with Syria and suspend humanitarian access to some 60,000 Syrian refugees (see Syria). Gunman 6 June killed five intelligence personnel near AlBaqaa Palestinian refugee camp north of Amman.

April 2016

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Police 13 April raided and sealed offices of largest opposition party, Muslim Brotherhood (MB), in Amman and other places in following days, reportedly implementing judicial decisions to transfer properties from MB, which lost license in 2015, to rival splinter faction Muslim Brotherhood Society; MB said closures illegal.

March 2016

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Security forces 1 March raided suspected Islamic State (IS) cell in northern Irbid, killed seven militants, seized weapons, ammunition and explosives, reportedly foiled planned attack; one security force member killed.

February 2016

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Ahead of 4 Feb donors conference on Syria (see Syria), King Abdullah II said Jordan “at boiling point” as refugee influx – with 635,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, in addition to over a million other Syrians living there according to govt – putting enormous pressure on social services, infrastructure and economy; called for increased international assistance.

February 2015

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Authorities 4 Feb executed two jihadi prisoners after captive Jordanian fighter pilot burned alive by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) in Syria; govt vowed to step up involvement in U.S.-led anti-IS coalition.

April 2014

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

Warplanes 16 April hit vehicles crossing border from Syria which officials claimed carried armed Syrian rebels.

June 2013

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

U.S. 9 June began military exercises in Jordan after sending Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighters 3 June; at Jordan’s  request U.S. Sec Defence Hagel 15 June and President Obama 21  June agreed to leave missiles, jets and several hundred troops to deal with potential spillover from Syria; Russia expressed concern. Authorities 11 June arrested 3 reportedly travelling to join Syrian conflict;1 reported killed, 2 wounded 19 June in clashes at border between security forces and Syrians trying to enter Jordan. EU allocated $65.5mn to help with Syrian refugee influx.

May 2013

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan

UN 23 May confirmed Jordan now hosting nearly 500,000 registered Syrian refugees; World Bank pledged $150mn loan, Russia earmarked $3.5mn through UNHCR to help with influx. Parliament 8 May called on govt to expel Israeli ambassador, recall Jordan’s ambassador from Tel Aviv, in protest at dispute over al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (see Israel/Palestine).

April 2013

Middle East & North Africa

Jordan