Published: Sun, April 04, 2021
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Jordan 'foils coup attempt involving royal family members, senior

Jordan 'foils coup attempt involving royal family members, senior

The agency later denied media reports claiming that Hamzah bin Al Hussein, the king's half-brother and former crown prince, had been detained or put under house arrest. According to the Congressional Research Service, there were approximately 3,145 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Kingdom as of June 2020, with the official aim of combating terrorists and promoting stability in the region. The rare video blamed the government for corruption, incompetence and intolerance for public dissent and was viewed as a scathing critique of the ruling monarch - though King Abdullah II was not mentioned by name.

"No one is above the law and Jordan's security and stability are above all", he told Petra.

Official news agency Petra said royal family former aide Bassem Awadallah and an unspecified number of other suspects had been arrested.

The news comes as a shock in the desert kingdom, a close regional ally of the USA often lauded for its stability in a crisis-ridden neighborhood.

General Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff, said the half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah II was asked to "stop some movements and activities that are being used to target Jordan's security and stability".

On Saturday, authorities in Jordan announced their decision to arrest 20 people, including high-profile officials. Both Bahrain and the Palestinian Authority followed suit, and Egypt said that Jordan's stability is integral for Egyptian and Arab national security.

Prince Hamzah is not seen as a major threat to Jordan's monarchy and has been marginalised for years, but the move against him represents the first such incident involving a close member of the royal family since King Abdullah came to the throne.

He commands a loyal following in Amman and, with his trim mustache and checkered keffiyeh headdress, often styles himself after his father, the late King Hussein, a revered figure in Jordan.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was "closely following" the events in its close regional ally. He served as Jordan's special envoy to Saudi Arabia, but Abdullah removed him from the role in 2018 over what were said to be his overly close ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

"The secretary-general of the Arab League expressed full solidarity with the measures taken by the Jordanian leadership to maintain the security of the kingdom and maintain the stability", the Arab League said in a statement on its Facebook page, citing Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

King Abdullah, 59, who trained at Sandhurst in the 1980s, has ruled the country since King Hussein's death in 1999. The kingdom, which has scant resources, received some $1.5 billion in assistance from the 2020 - a result of Abdullah's popularity among congressional leaders.

The news comes at a precarious time for the monarch.

Relations with Israel, meanwhile, are also at a low point, with tensions brewing over Israel's plans to annex the West Bank as well as a series of tit-for-tat diplomatic slights with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Despite having little oil wealth and severely lacking water, the kingdom has managed to survive repeated wars in the region which have sent waves of refugees across its borders.

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