U.S. Leaves Some 700 Combat-ready Troops in Jordan After Training Exercise

With civil war in Syria persisting, U.S. President Obama says soldiers will remain in Jordan until security situation allows for their departure.

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The United States has left about 700 combat-equipped troops in Jordan after a training exercise there, at the request of the Jordanian government, President Barack Obama said on Friday.

With both countries keeping a wary eye on the civil war in Syria, Obama said in a letter to Congress that 700 of the troops deployed to Jordan as part of a training exercise will remain behind.

The exercise ended on Thursday. They will remain until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed, Obama said.

"This detachment that participated in the exercise and remained in Jordan includes Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control, and communications personnel and systems," Obama said.  

Last weekend the Pentagon announced that the U.S. will keep Patriot missile batteries and F-16 fighter jets in Jordan, also at the country's behest.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "has approved a request from the Kingdom of Jordan for a detachment of F-16s and Patriot Missiles to remain in Jordan following the conclusion" of the exercise, Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

The war games that were conducted this month are held annually with a theme of irregular warfare and included more than 8,000 service members from about 19 countries, one U.S. official said at the time.

Troops take part in Eager Lion multinational military maneuvers in Jordan. Credit: AP

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