U.S. delivers helicopters to bolster Jordan’s border defenses

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By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

ZARQA, Jordan (Reuters) – The United States has sent the previous batch of Black Hawk helicopters for Jordan’s quick deployment pressure to bolster border defenses and engage in cross-border functions versus Islamic militants.

U.S. officers say that military help to Jordan, a single of the major recipients of its international military financing, aids to construct the kingdom’s army capabilities as part of a wider regional tactic.

Washington has introduced it ideas to continue to be in Syria very long right after Islamic Point out has been defeated and has army bases in the northeastern portion of the war-torn region.

In a handover ceremony attended by U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel and Jordan’s Chief of Personnel Typical Mahmoud Freihat, the helicopters landed in a mock hostage rescue by special forces.

“The United States stays committed to supporting the Jordanian air pressure initiatives to protect Jordan’s borders and discourage counter acts of terror and add to defeat ISIS coalition functions,” stated Henry Wooster, Cost d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, in the course of the ceremony at the King Abdullah air base 35 km northeast of the funds.

Congress appropriated $470 million in fiscal calendar year 2017 for the Jordanian military with a major chunk to pilot teaching, spareparts, weapons and hangers for the twelve UH-60 Black Hawks, Wooster said.

The armed service assist deliveries handle some worries King Abdullah expressed past calendar year to the administration of President Barack Obama and major U.S. lawmakers about absence of military funding and responsiveness to a person of its vital regional allies.

Afterwards Votel told CNN the staunch U.S. ally was a critical spouse with the Pentagon in the area.

“Jordan has been a superb associate for a variety of many years here, I assume what you observed in our demonstration here currently is the maturity of our relationship. Jordanians are operating best of the line devices and executing a wonderful job with it,” Votel reported.

Jordan is between a number of Arab states that have taken aspect in a U.S.-led air marketing campaign against the hardline militant group.

The Black Hawk helicopters are central to the U.S.-funded swift response power established up by Jordan to counter Islamic Point out, which stays a danger irrespective of getting been driven out of substantial locations of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

“The force is able of relocating troops and supplies any place in Jordan on short see to enhance border stability and repel opportunity incursions,” Wooster mentioned.

U.S. Patriot missiles are stationed in the kingdom and the U.S. military has hundreds of trainers in the country.

Jordan’s site helps make it an suitable logistics and provide hub for the Unites States, which includes its Tanf garrison in the southeastern Syrian desert.

“U.S. Jordanian navy cooperation is extremely robust and a key component in our joint energy to defeat Daesh,” reported Brigadier Standard Jaber al-Abbadi, Jordan’s air drive commander.

The Pentagon was organizing to devote numerous hundreds of hundreds of thousands of dollars in increasing and upgrading the Muwaffak Salti air base situated close to the Syrian-Jordanian border in the northern section of the nation, a Western diplomat said.

Jordanian officials confirmed the growing U.S. armed forces aid software.

“Jordan is at the moment doing the job with the U.S. to boost our abilities in the military, especially the air drive,” Basic al-Abbadi additional.

Due to the fact the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Washington has put in hundreds of thousands of pounds to support Amman set up an elaborate surveillance process known as the Border Security Programme to stem infiltration by militants from Syria and Iraq.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by David Goodman and Diane Craft)

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U.S. provides helicopters to bolster Jordan’s border defenses