View Full Version : Iraq took over a Jordanian airfield?

07-28-2002, 10:02 AM
I happened to see maps of Jordan and Iraq posted up on a wall, and they both showed a "de facto" boundary at the eastern end of Jordan, at its border with Iraq. There was an airfield that was now on the Iraqi side of the "de facto" border, even though it was supposed to be in Jordan originally. It looked like the "de facto" border had been drawn mainly to give Iraq control of that airfield.

When did this happen? Was it some kind of accommodation reached during Desert Storm? Did Iraq strong-arm Jordan into acquiescing in this takeover, or was there a quid pro quo?

07-28-2002, 01:04 PM
The Iraqi military airfield there is called Ruwayshid (32 24' 31"N
39 07' 31"E), but I can't find any information on when the region changed hands. A rather slow-to-load map of the border can be found at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/iraq_g4_90.jpg

Duck Duck Goose
07-28-2002, 02:57 PM
It's a town, too, I think. Sort of.
...Then in the 1930s the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) built a pipeline through northern Jordan, creating the pumping station settlements of Ruwayshid and Safawi.
Other changes of external origin, originally unrelated to livestock, and certainly unrelated to agricultural R&D, have also had a profound impact on the livestock industry of the Badia. These include: the oil pipeline and its pumping stations H4 and H5 which gave rise to the townships of Ruwayshid and Safawi;...
I can't find any dates on when the de facto boundary was drawn, either. It was "Jordanian" in 1990-91.
4 March - Iraq releases ten Prisoners of War. POWs were turned over to U.S. officials by the International Committee of the Red Cross near the Jordanian border station of Ruwayshid, and then transferred to the hospital ship USNS MERCY (T-AH 19) for medical treatment.

10-30-2005, 04:06 AM
So I never found out what was the story about how Ruwayshid was transferred from Jordan to Iraq. Here's a bump in case anyone might know.

10-30-2005, 11:00 AM
There is an iraqi airfield in Ruyayshid which is probably the one on the map

However there is a Jordanian town across the border with almost the same name (Ar Ruyayshid) and also with an airfield (I think just off the map you show) that you may be gettng confused with.

However, notice that the map is amiguous, with two borders being marked - the marked Iraq/jordan puts the airfield in Jordan

10-30-2005, 10:18 PM
Yeah, that's what I mean. There's now a rectangular jog in the Iraqi-Jordanian border, where it used to be straight. Just enough to put the formerly Jordanian airfield within Iraq. What was up with that? The CIA map I saw labeled it "de facto boundary."

10-31-2005, 05:09 AM
I have not been able to track down exactly when the present defacto boundary was established. See http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_304.html for some information on the problems of boundaries in that area.

"The Office of the Geographer at the U.S. state department, which provides the official word on international boundaries for all U.S. government maps, continues to show the diamond-shaped neutral zone with a line running through the middle and the words, "de facto boundary as shown on official Iraqi and Saudi maps (alignment approximate)." Similar notes appear on U.S. maps showing the rest of the Saudi-Iraq border (which was basically straightened) and the Iraq-Jordan border (which was made more crooked). The de facto borders are believed to be accurate within 150 meters, or perhaps a city block--no big deal to you and me, but to government cartographers used to pinpoint precision, a constant source of irritation."

Certainly in the seventies all the maps had a straight line, but by 1991 they had the jag

10-31-2005, 05:11 AM
oh and of course in 1958 jordan and iraq briely became one nation which I am sure did not help future border dipsutes

11-01-2005, 08:07 AM
We're getting a little closer, but how odd that the real straight dope on this question. still eludes us. I didn't know I was playing a game of "Stump the Dopers."

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