Speaking to a NATO defense ministers conference in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. US troops sent to the Jordan-Syria border are helping build a headquarters in Jordan to bolster its military capabilities in case violence spills over from Syria, suggesting deepening US military intervention in the Syrian conflict.
However, a Jordanian army spokesman denied an earlier New York Times report. "News reports that the United States is helping Jordan deal with the Syrian refugees or face dangers related to chemical weapons are not true," the spokesman said in a statement carried by state-run Petra news agency. D
DEBKAfile: Similar US chemical weapons task forces have already been set up in Israel and Turkey as we reported on Aug. 12