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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jordanians 'won't support ground intervention in Syria'

A former commander of Jordan's Special Forces and former deputy chief of staff of Jordan's armed forces Retired General Mousa al-Odwan says sending Jordanian ground forces inside Syria would have dire consequences for Jordan's stability and national security, AlJazeera reports. Jordan's interests would be better served by keeping a defensive-offensive posture on the Syrian borders.
 
"We should not intervene in the Syrian conflict unless there is a clear and present terrorist threat to our national security," said Odwan.
 
Odwan prefers using special forces in pre-emptive strike capacity inside Syria to neutralize "terrorist" threats, and opposes sending Jordanian ground forces into Syria even as part of a larger international alliance.
 
On Sunday, US and Jordanian troops launched a major annual military training event, "one of U.S. Central Command's premier exercises", called Eager Lion, with the participation of more than 20 nations. The exercise, which takes place in multiple locations in Jordan, is in its seventh year and is led by forces from the US Central Command where the Middle East is its area of responsibility.
 
About 7,400 military personnel, including representatives from Centcom headquarters and its air, land and maritime components will support the exercise scheduled for May 15-24, according to a U.S. Central Command news release.
 
This year's exercise comes amid reports suggesting a possible joint American, British, and Jordanian military intervention in Syria as part of President Trump's strategy to roll back ISIS.
 
Jordan has been part of the US strategy for Syria which focused on containing the conflict as a low-intensity war to prevent it from spilling over to neighboring countries ever since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011.
 
Jordan is also a member of a US-led alliance to defeat ISIS using its own air force to bomb targets inside Iraq. READ MORE