US President Barack Obama said the United States left around 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after a training exercise in the country
US President Barack Obama said the United States left around 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after a training exercise in the country.
In a letter to US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Friday, Obama said that the deployment was made at the request of the Jordanian government. He stated that about 700 of the US troops deployed to Jordan as part of a military training exercise, which ended on Thursday, would stay in the country.
“The troops will stay until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer required”, Obama claimed, but provided no further details.
“This detachment that participated in the exercise and remained in Jordan includes Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control, and communications personnel and systems,” Obama said.
This came as a report by The Los Angeles Times said CIA operatives have been secretly providing the Syrian militants with training on the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons for months.
Since the opening of a new US base in the desert in southwest of Jordan in November 2012, the CIA operatives and US special operations troops have covertly trained the militants in groups of 20 to 45 at a time in two-week courses, the report said.
The militants receive training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, and 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a militant commander in the Syrian province of Dara’a.
“Those from the CIA, we would sit and talk with them during breaks from training and afterward, they would try to get information on the situation inside” Syria, the report quoted the unnamed commander as saying.
The training program has also been conducted in Turkey, the report said.
Yahya Bittar, another militant commander, said the training is conducted by US, Jordanian and French operatives, adding that up to 100 militants have been sent back across the border to Syria after taking the course in Jordan over the past month.