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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Troops in Jordan Will Only Add to Syrian Crisis - Russia

RIA Novosti

19:34 19/04/2013 MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti) – The deployment of US troops to Jordan will only make the Syrian crisis worse, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that he had ordered about 200 servicemen to be sent to Syria’s neighbor Jordan, in addition to 150 US military specialists already deployed in the country since last year.

“This is definitely not the type of action currently needed to get the situation in Syria out of deadlock. Such actions will only aggravate the crisis in Syria, which has already begun deteriorating into a disaster on a regional scale,” the spokesman said.

He said that such actions “run counter to political obligations and positions agreed in Geneva last year by the key international parties working on a resolution to the Syrian crisis.”

"At all levels, we have been calling on our Western and regional partners to abandon these dangerous initiatives and to start putting into practice the political responsibilities that we have all taken with regard to the Syrian crisis,” Lukashevich said.

He also warned that extremists currently fighting alongside Syrian rebel forces will most likely continue their activities in other countries once the conflict in Syria is over.

The spokesman cited recent Australian media reports about an Australian citizen who fought alongside rebels in Aleppo and was killed in clashes with the Syrian army, in one of several such cases involving Australian citizens. He also mentioned the recent detention of a group of people in Belgium who had recruited Belgian citizens to fight in Syria.

"We have repeatedly pointed out that such trends pose an extreme danger on a global scale, because the extremists who are now gaining combat experience in Syria will tomorrow head to other countries,” Lukashevich said.

The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011 with peaceful protests demanding reforms, has gradually developed into a civil war in response to the government’s military crackdown on the protesters.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and nearly 1.4 million are registered as refugees in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations.

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