Lebanon and Iraq see more violence and other Middle East countries raise level of military readiness
In the northern Jordan villages – some almost split by the border with Syria – people who have watched the flow of refugees into their country are "holding their breath".
The sentiment is the same as in the other neighbouring countries, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel and Iraq: a fear that the Syrian conflict, which has already claimed more than 100,000 lives could spill over and destabilise the wider region.
The fear is not unfounded. Already the consequences of the Syrian war are being felt beyond its borders.
Worst affected so far have been Lebanon and Iraq, which – because of their own political fragility and sectarian competitions – have already seen violence and increasing instability.
Britain has advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon, where bomb attacks in the northern city of Tripoli killed 42 people last week, and as regional tensions grow over a possible US military strike on Syria.
On Friday, Lebanon charged five men, including a Sunni Muslim cleric close to the Syrian government, over the bomb attacks on two mosques in Tripoli.
Two other men, including a Syrian military officer, were charged in absentia with placing the bombs.
In Iraq concern has been mounting for months as the violence in its neighbour – in which Sunni jihadi groups linked to those in Iraq have been participating – has escalated.
And amid fear that a US strike could have wider repercussions, Jordan, Turkey and Israel have raised their level of military readiness.
The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad underlined the sense of fear, quoting people in the country's northern areas speaking of their concern that their country might be hit in a revenge attack and discussing whether to move to the south.
Turkey has also seen similar rising fears, not least because of its government's strong opposition to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, which has already seen cross-border fire and the planting of bombs. Last week the country began distributing gas masks and deployed a large team of chemical warfare experts close to the border.
According to sources, Saudi Arabia's defence readiness has been raised and leave for the armed forces cancelled. In Kuwait, lawmakers have asked their government to inform them about plans for readiness to deal with repercussions of a strike on Syria, Kuwaiti newspapers have reported.
And in Israel, which some fear might be the target of any retaliatory attack, the government has moved extra anti-missile batteries to the country's north, bordering Syria, issued gas masks to citizens and called up a limited number of reservists, including cyber warfare specialists.
Other countries advising citizens to quit Lebanon included Bahrain, Kuwait and France, while Austria told its people to contact its embassy in Lebanon before travelling there.
Bahrain and Kuwait also urged its nationals in the country to leave immediately, their state news agencies reported.
A senior security source in Lebanon said that around 14,000 people had left the country on Thursday alone, mostly Europeans.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/01/jordan-syria-conflict-fears-destabilise-region