US decides to keep fighters in Jordan
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:45AM GMT
The United States has decided to keep F-16 fighter jets and Patriot anti-missile weapons in Jordan after ending a joint military drill there this month.
On Thursday a US defense official said Washington will also keep a unit of marines on amphibious ships off the coast in the region after consultations with Jordanian leaders.
The US officials decided to keep the troops and weapons upon the request of Jordan amid concerns over the conflict in neighboring Syria.
The military equipment had been sent to Jordan for a major military drill, dubbed Eager Lion. According to military officials over 4,500 US troops, around 3,000 Jordanians, and 500 soldiers from other countries participated in the exercise, which started on Sunday.
Russia and Syria have already shown concerns over the deployment of U-S Patriot missiles and fighter jets to the region.
On May 14, Jordan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lieutenant General Mishal Mohammed Zabin met with the army chiefs of the US, France and Turkey as well as the deputy secretary-general of the NATO, Alexander Vershbow, to discuss “preparations underway for the Eager Lion exercise.”
Jordan has received bulky aid from the US in recent years. Washington has granted USD 2.4 billion (EUR 1.85 billion) in aid to Amman in the past five years, according to official figures.
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