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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03AMMAN1719
2003-03-22 15:40:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 7 (3/22 1845 LOCAL)

Tags:   AEMR  AMGT  ASEC  CASC  CVIS  IZ  JO 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 001719 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2013
TAGS: AEMR AMGT ASEC CASC CVIS IZ JO
SUBJECT: TFIZO1: AMMAN SITREP 7 (3/22 1845 LOCAL)


Classified By: Acting DCM Doug Silliman. Reason 1.5 (b,d).

----------------
General Overview
----------------



1. (SBU) The Embassy maintained a standfast posture
throughout 3/22, but will open 3/23 on a regular work
schedule. However, American personnel will be limited to
essential movements.



2. (C) Scattered demonstrations and protests occurred around
the country today, but far fewer than yesterday. In Irbid,
the Islamic Action Front (IAF) organized a rally (ongoing as
of 1700 local) of approximately 2,000 people where a series
of speakers have been denouncing U.S. aggression against
Iraq. PSD security personnel are present and there have been
no reports of violence. At 1500 local time, PSD reported
that a protest involving 2,000 young people was ongoing in
the Baqa'a Palestinian refugee camp. The protesters have
thrown rocks at the police who have responded with teargas.
The protest remains confined to the camp. A candlelight
vigil is planned for this evening in the Shmeisani
neighborhood of Amman. Finally, the southern city of Ma'an
has been quiet all day, following yesterday's protests that
involved several thousand people. The PSD says that one
protester was injured in yesterday's demonstrations, but
denies rumors that one or more protesters may have been
killed.



3. (SBU) Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) continues
regular operations. Royal Jordanian Airlines continues
service to all destinations, with the exception of Baghdad.
Air France restored its Amman-Paris route today and will
operate it on a reduced level as events and passenger loads
dictate. It is the first European carrier to resume flights.



4. (SBU) Mobile and fixed-line telecommunications continue
uninterrupted, although there have been occasional delays in
international service over the past few days due to the large
volume of traffic, according to local telecom officials.




--------------------------


Consular Issues


--------------------------





5. (C) IOM reports that one Amcit and a Japanese citizen
crossed into Jordan from Iraq today. IOM transported them to
Ruweished, where they hired a taxi to Amman. Inquiries to
the Consular section continue to be very light.



--------------------------


GOJ Actions/Statements


--------------------------





6. (C) None since previous sitrep.



--------------------------


Security


--------------------------





7. (C) Cooperation with all GOJ security agencies continues
to be excellent. Additional security measures around the
Embassy remain in place, although the additional riot police
that were deployed yesterday prior to Friday prayers were
removed.



--------------------------


Refugee/Humanitarian Issues


--------------------------





8. (C) The Jordan-Iraq border remains open. The flow of
people into Jordan continues to be light and limited to TCNs;
no Iraqi asylum seekers have yet to attempted to enter
Jordan. Some TCNs who have crossed report that Iraqi
military forces are preventing Iraqis from leaving Iraq.
UNHCR and IOM are investigating this claim. As of 1200 local
time 329 TCNs are at the IOM/JRCS transit camp in Ruweished.
Of this total are 229 Sudanese, 30 Somalis and a handful of
other nationalities.


--------------------------


Press


--------------------------




9. (C) Embassy IO and Centcom PA detailee briefed U.S.
reporters congregated at Ruweished on the continued dangers
of crossing into Iraqi territory. Journalists are
increasingly frantic to get across the border, even, it
appears, in the face of our attempts to explain the dangers
of such a trip. While at Ruweished, a local UNHCR
representative phoned IO and asked if USG could pass on any
intelligence or other information regarding movements of
Iraqis from inside Iraq toward the Iraq/Jordan border.



10. (C) CNN began running a report quoting "Kurdish sources"
that U.S. Special Forces would be landing in Northern Iraq
from Jordan. We've received a few questions for comment.
Our posture has been not to comment on the specific report.
Jordanian officials told us that they will continue to deny
such reports.
GNEHM