Jordan says 900 US troops boost defense in country



JAMAL HALABY | AP

Published — Saturday 22 June 2013

Last update 23 June 2013 9:41 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

AMMAN: Some 900 US military personnel, including dozens staying on from joint military drills, are in Jordan to bolster its defense and prevent the Syrian civil war from spreading across its border, Jordan’s prime minister said Saturday.
It was the first time a Jordanian official disclosed publicly the numbers of US troops in the Arab kingdom, sent there in recent weeks for military exercises and other deployments.
Abdullah Ensour told reporters Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training Jordanians to handle a chemical attack. The remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets which Washington deployed this month in case the Syrian war worsens.
“The number of US forces in Jordan is small and not intended to be in preparation for a war on Syria,” Ensour said.
Jordan is concerned its larger northern neighbor would use chemical weapons against Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and other neighboring countries, or that the stockpile may fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda or other militants if Syria’s President Bashar Assad loses control.
Jordan hosts the largest number of more than a half million displaced Syrians, with an equal number sheltered in Turkey and Lebanon.
Earlier this month, Washington relocated one or two patriot missile batteries to Jordan from an unspecified country in the Persian Gulf, and also deployed a squadron of 12 to 24 F-16 fighter jets.
The deployment coincided with annual military exercises, dubbed Eager Lion 2013, which wrapped up earlier this week. Supervised by the US, the drills brought together more than 8,000 forces from 19 countries.
Ensour said Jordan was caught between a rock and a hard place in the Syrian crisis, which began in March 2011 with peaceful protests and later plunged into civil war.
“If the war continues, it’s a problem, and if it ends with the collapse of the regime, we also have a problem,” he said, adding that the fall of Assad’s regime would leave a “vacuum, whereby attacks and conflicts would persist.”
“This is why we have been calling for a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” he added.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Some good news for less fortunate women in society. According to a survey, 77. 3 percent of young men are willing to marry divorced women, 67. 2 percent are ready to tie the knot with widows, while 74. 6 percent of them have no problem marryi...
RIYADH: Iranian Haj and Umrah pilgrims are welcome to enter the Kingdom and would receive all hospitality and courtesy afforded to Muslims from other countries, said Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir here Thursday.He reiterated that the Kingdom’s decis...
RIYADH: A 78-year-old Saudi man has been infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) by a camel in Taif, according to a senior official in the Ministry of Health.“This is a sporadic case that happens due to humans' interacti...
RIYADH: A medical team at a hospital in Sakaka successfully conducted the first laparoscopic procedure of its kind in the region by using this modern technique.The medical team, headed by Dr. Sami Al-Asari at the King Abdul Aziz Specialist Hospital,...
DAMMAM: A study by the National Family Safety Program with 18,000 teenagers has revealed that 13 percent have been sexually abused, 53 percent neglected, and 80 percent faced various forms of physical and psychological abuse.The study also showed the...
AL-AHSA: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to revamp, protect and document 900 ancient mosques in the Kingdom.Representatives from the SCTNH and the ministry he...
JEDDAH: Military items including uniforms, fabrics, belts and hats accounted for 19 percent of customs seizures during 2013 and 2014, with about 8,620 pieces seized in 98 operations at various border crossings.The spokesman for Saudi Customs, Issa Al...
RIYADH: Dr. Hazzaa Al-Zahrani, director of hematology and fellowship training programs at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, has warned against the increasing risk of hemophilia in the Gulf region.He said about 75 percent...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has asked its various departments to review current inventories to ensure the availability of medicine and medical devices.The move was made after Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih ordered the reduction of medicines and m...
JEDDAH: A local charity has raised SR2 million to help pay for treatment needed by disadvantaged people in the country.The Charitable Health Society For Patient Care (Enayah), which ran its fund raising campaign under the slogan “Ensure my Treatment,...
JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), has announced plans to develop the Kingdom’s islands in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf into tourist destinations.This would be done after the...
RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador Azim Thassim told his countrymen in the Kingdom that his mission has chalked out a 20/20 plan to promote bilateral relations with the Kingdom and to work for the welfare of the island’s 500,000 workers in Saudi Arabia.Th...
JEDDAH: The Special Criminal Court has sentenced a Saudi man to four years in prison for defying the country’s ruler and traveling to fight in Syria.The court found he had received weapons training and posted tweets about his experiences. He was also...
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is ready to join any ground operation against Daesh in Syria if required by the US-led coalition, said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, on Thursday.“The Kingdom is ready to participate i...
RIYADH: The World Bank and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) are working in close cooperation to promote investments for the rehabilitation of historic city centers in the Kingdom, an SCTNH spokesman said on Wednesday.In...

Stay Connected

Facebook