Monday, June 17, 2013
The U.S. troops currently in Jordan participating in the military exercise Eager Lion plan to leave the country Thursday when the training ends. But the Pentagon says they'll be leaving behind a detachment of F-16s and U.S. Patriot missiles at Jordan's request.
Stars and Stripes reports some U.S. service members will stay in Jordan with the missiles and jets, but according to a Pentagon spokesman:
“All other U.S. personnel assigned to Jordan for Eager Lion will depart at the conclusion of the exercise.”
It's estimated at least 470,000 Syrian refugees have crossed the border into neighboring Jordan. And Jordan's King Abdullah II has expressed concern that the violence in Syria will spill over into his country.
The Patriot missiles could be used to protect U.S. ally Jordan against any possible missile attack as the Syrian war threatens to widen into a more regional, sectarian conflict.
As Home Post reported last week, Eager Lion is an annual partnership exercise between the United States and Jordan. There are more than 8,000 troops from 19 countries taking part in Eager Lion.
You'll find video posted up top, courtesy of Army Broadcasting, of Marine Colonel Patrick Connelly (Exercise Deputy for Eager Lion 13) explaining that troops who must stay behind in Jordan with their equipment post-Eager Lion are "proud and honored" to do so.