US troops sent to Jordan to counter Syrian attack on kingdom
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday, April 17, that 200 troops of the US 1st Armored Division had been ordered to deploy in Jordan. debkafile’s military sources report that they are being sent on arrival to the north and ranged on the Jordanian-Syrian border.
According to the Pentagon statement, the force will give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered.”
The new deployment will include communications and intelligence specialists, who will assist the Jordanians and "be ready for military action" if President Barack Obama orders it.
Small US units, mainly special forces and special groups trained for chemical warfare, have been have been quietly present in Jordan for the past year. The new deployment makes the US military presence official.
debkafile’s Washington sources disclose that President Obama ordered the new deployment to the kingdom when he discovered that Syrian President Bashar Assad was about to publicly and sharply condemn Jordan’s King Abdullah in a special Syrian TV broadcast Wednesday night and accuse him of responsibility for sending hundreds of armed fighters into Syria to oppose the regime.
Assad was also expected to warn the US and the West that they would regret their support for al Qaeda groups fighting with the rebels against his government.
In Washington and Amman, the forthcoming diatribe by Assad against the king was viewed as the opening shot for a presidential order to the Syrian army to launch an offensive against the Hashemite Kingdom.
debkafile’s military sources report that if full-scale war were to erupt between US troops and the Jordanian Army, on one side, and the Syrian army, on the other, Israel and the IDF would almost certainly become involved.