King Abdullah talks Islamic State war, US not understanding ‘the rules’ as the battle headed to Libya
Speaking in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes in Amman, King Abdullah the Second Bin Al Hussein said the world needs to adopt a “global perspective” in combating Muslim terrorists in both the Middle East and Africa.
“The ethnic makeup of the region is pretty glaringly obvious for us that live in the region, that advisers and think tanks in the West seem to know us better than we supposedly know ourselves,” he said, adding that the inability to see the bigger geopolitical picture has hindered the fight against groups such as Isis.
“I think the problem with the West is they see a border between Syria and Iraq. Daesh [Isis] does not – and this has been a frustration, I think, for a few of us in this area with our Western coalition partners, for several years. You know, the lawyers get into the act and say, ‘But there’s an international border.’ And we say, ‘For God’s sake, Isis doesn’t work that way,’” he said.
“So if you’re looking at it and want to play the game by your rules, knowing that the enemy doesn’t, we’re not going to win this.”
Islamic State may be under attack from multiple sides in its territory in Syria and Iraq, it still remains strong in Libya, where Abdullah predicts will eventually be where the front line of attack against the group move.
“And so are we going to wait to get our act together to concentrate on Libya? And then, you know, do we wait a year or two to start helping the Africans deal with Boko Haram or al Shabaab?” he asked. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve because they’re reacting much quicker than we are.”
“We’re in for the long haul, not only in Syria and Iraq, but for the whole region and for the world, unfortunately,” he continued.
The Muslim Brotherhood made significant gains in last week’s parliamentary elections in Jordan. On Sunday, prominent atheist writer Nahed Hattar was gunned down in Amman for sharing a cartoon which depicted the image of God – forbidden in mainstream Islam.