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Syria Expels Jordanian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Move

Syria responds to Jordan’s expelling of its ambassador by expelling a Jordanian diplomat from Damascus.

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Elad Benari,

Za'atri tent city for Syrian refugees in Jord
Za'atri tent city for Syrian refugees in Jord

Syria has responded to Jordan’s expelling of its ambassador to Amman by expelling a Jordanian diplomat from Damascus, AFP reported on Monday, citing Syria’s state-run television.

Al-Ikhbariya television reported on Monday evening that Syria decided to expel Jordan's charge d'affaires, in a tit-for-tat move hours after Amman gave the Syrian ambassador 24 hours to leave the kingdom.

"The Syrian foreign ministry will order the expulsion of the Jordanian charge d'affaires to Damascus, after the Jordanian foreign ministry declared the Syrian ambassador to Amman persona non grata," said a report on the station.

Earlier Monday, Jordan sent Syria's ambassador to the country packing, explaining he was asked to leave the country because of “continued offensive statements, through his personal contacts or writing in the media and the social media against the kingdom.”

Nearly four million Syrians have fled the country during the country’s civil war, and some 600,000 have sought refuge in neighboring Jordan.

There have been several border-related clashes between the countries in recent months, one of which having taken place in April, when Jordanian air forces destroyed a number of armored vehicles as they crossed the border.

Several officials who have defected from Syria during the course of the war have crossed over to Jordan, including a former Syrian MP and a high-ranking air force officer who flew his plane to Jordan and handed himself over to authorities in June of 2012.