6,000 US troops head to Jordan for military drills

Friday, May 23, 2014
By Paul Martin

Thu May 22, 2014

About 6,000 US troops have headed to Jordan for joint military exercises which will be conducted in the Middle Eastern country from May 25 to June 8.

Citing a Pentagon spokesman, Military Times reported on Tuesday that major US units – including the Army’s 17th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Armored Division; the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade; elements of the Navy’s Task Force 51/59; and the 407th Air Expeditionary Group – will take part in the drills, which are dubbed as ‘Eager Lion.’

According to Cmdr. William Speaks, who spoke to Military Times on Tuesday, over 12,500 troops from more than 20 countries are to take part in the exercises.

Last year, the US military left Patriot missiles and F-16 warplanes in the country following joint drills in Jordan which borders Syria where US-backed militants have been fighting against the Syrian government and people.

Several reports have shown that the United States has been training insurgents in Jordan to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has shipped weapons to Jordan in order to arm the foreign-backed militant groups in Syria.

Latest reports show that the US is secretly handing American-made “heavy weapons,” like BGM-71 TOW anti-tank rocket systems, to militant groups in Syria via Jordan.

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