Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2013

US to deploy 200 troops to Jordan to curb Syria violence – Hagel

US soldiers prepare their gear during the Eager Lion joint military exercise near the Jordan–Saudi border, 260 km south of Amman.(AFP Photo / STR)

US soldiers prepare their gear during the Eager Lion joint military exercise near the Jordan–Saudi border, 260 km south of Amman.(AFP Photo / STR)

The US will deploy 200 troops to Jordan in the coming weeks in a bid to support that country’s defenses, Washington says, as the Syrian crisis escalates.

The Wednesday statement came from US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Congress. He has said the deployment will assist the efforts to contain violence on the Syrian border, as well as set the groundwork for combating any perceived threats of chemical weapons use in Syria.

The troops of the 1st Armed Division will arrive to replace the US forces already stationed in the country for a few months. The new deployment will now also include specialists in the fields of intelligence, operations and logistics. It has also been said the troops will include commanding officers to lay the future groundwork for coordinating a larger deployment, if the need arises.

“Currently, the U.S. forces assisting Jordan now are troops pulled from various units and places,” Hagel said at the Senate Armed Service Committee meeting. He explained that deploying troops that had previously worked together will enhance the unit’s teamwork.

The Syrian uprising, which has been ongoing for two years, has taken the lives of more than 70,000, while displacing more than a million.

The US has been demanding that President Assad step down and has recently been suspecting the Syrian regime of having a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons and insisting that it wants to use them against its own civilian population. Obama claims that any use of such weapons would constitute the crossing of a ‘red line’ for Assad.

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Source: Russia Today

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