On Friday (September 18), the Jordanian army called a surprise halt to its two-day advance on guerrilla strongholds, saying that it wanted to give the commandos a chance to come over to King Hussein's side.
CU Guerrillas guard street
CU PAN FROM Sandbags to guerrillas
CU Wreckage of cars and rubble in street
SV Guerrillas walk towards rubble
GV Building with bullet scars (2 shots)
SV Wrecked cars
Guerrillas move out PAN TO Barbed wire barricade.
CU INT PAN Casualties in hospital (6 shots)
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Background: On Friday (September 18), the Jordanian army called a surprise halt to its two-day advance on guerrilla strongholds, saying that it wanted to give the commandos a chance to come over to King Hussein's side. The standstill was announced as guerrilla reinforcements were reported to be pouring south into the battle areas from Syria. The reinforcements were said to be carrying light artillery, Soviet and Chinese automatic weapons and rocket launchers.
The town of Zerka 15 miles (25 Kms) north east of Amman fell into the hands of the commandos on Thursday and was declared a "liberated" town. There are large Jordanian army barracks at Zerka said to have been attacked by the commandos.
Battle started again in Zerka early on Friday. The guerrillas holding the town were said to be receiving support from the reinforcements coming in from Syria.
Reports say that the guerrillas appear to be holding out in the refugee camps, where any large-scale attack by the army would result in the death of many civilians.
The commando leaders have rejected military cease-fire offers, saying they will only stop fighting when a national government is set up which will "respect the will of the Jordanian people."
Zerka has been the scene of constant skirmishes for the past two week. Many civilians have been injured in the exchanges between the two sides. The International Red Cross is trying to get a medical team into the area. Emergency medical supplies are also standing by a Beirut. They will be despatched to Jordan as soon as the situation makes it possible.