Syria war gives US-Jordan war games a sharp edge

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Syria war gives US-Jordan war games a sharp edge

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The US and Jordan have ended annual joint military exercises in the Arab country, with the drills taking on heightened significance due to the war raging in neighbouring Syria.

The US is reportedly increasing its military presence in Jordan. Earlier this month it said it would deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 fighter jets there, drawing swift criticism from Moscow.

Nineteen Arab and European countries took part in the Eager Lion exercises which focused on border security, irregular warfare and counter insurgency.

Wednesday’s display before the cameras took place near the southern town of al Quweira.

“The exercise is a superb way for us to promote regional security and so we are looking into promoting regional security, we’re looking to develop our relationship with the Jordanian, my peers, my counterparts on the Jordanian navy and the Jordanian brigade, and we’re looking to show that we can inter-operate together,” said US Rear Admiral William Lescher, head of Expeditionary Strike Group Five (ESG-5).

As well as cooperation the US military could also be called into action in a crisis.

One senior American official was quoted as saying its presence sent a message to Syria that the US would defend Jordan if necessary.

Jordanian troops are said to have been trained to go into Syria if needed to deal with a potential chemical weapons crisis.