US Marines have been deployed along
Jordan’s border with Syria as the Syrian army inflicts heavy losses on
foreign-backed militants, Israeli media reports say .
A large American military force disembarked Tuesday, June 4, at the
southern Jordanian port of Aqaba - ready for deployment on the kingdom’s
Syrian border, debkafile’s
exclusive military sources report. The force made its way north along
the Aqaba-Jerash-Ajilon mountain road bisecting Jordan from south to
north, under heavy Jordanian military escort.
Our sources disclose that this American force numbers 1,000 troops, the largest to land in Jordan since the Syrian civil war erupted in March 2012. They are members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force carried aboard the USS Kearsage amphibious assault ship, which has been anchored off neighboring Israeli Eilat since mid-May. Upon landing, the marines took to the road in a convoy of armored vehicles including Hummers.
Washington and Amman have imposed a blackout on their arrival. The
Pentagon has only let it be known that the annual joint US-Jordanian
“Eager Lion 2013” military exercise is due to begin later in June and
last two months, with the participation of US F-16 fighter jets and
Patriot missile defense systems.
According to our US sources, the arrival of the US force in Jordan was not directly related to the regular exercise but decided on at an emergency meeting at the Pentagon on May 31, which was attended by top military and civilian Defense Department officials. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is away from Washington, took part by video conference.