Jordan's King Abdullah II says Bashar Assad's days numbered

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AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan’s king warned today that a jihadi state could emerge on his northern border in Syria with Islamic extremists trying to establish a foothold in the neighboring country.

King Abdullah II, a key U.S. ally, said that in his view, Syrian President Bashar Assad was beyond rehabilitation and it was only a matter of time before his authoritarian regime collapses. But he said he opposed foreign military intervention.

“The most worrying factors in the Syrian conflict are the issues of chemical weapons, the steady flow or sudden surge in refugees and a jihadist state emerging out of the conflict,” the king said.

He said it costs his cash-strapped nation $550 million annually to host an estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees, straining the country’s meager resources and forcing the budget deficit to a record high of $3 billion last year.

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