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US delivers more Black Hawk choppers to Jordan

US embassy charge d'affaires Henry Wooster delivers a speach in front of a Black Hawk helicopter during a handing over ceremony at the King Abdullah II Air Base in Zarqa, on January 28, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The United States has delivered more Black Hawk helicopters to Jordan as part of an alleged plan to bolster the country’s borders against terrorist groups in Syria.

The helicopters were handed over to Jordan’s military on Sunday, during a ceremony attended by US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel and Jordan’s Chief of Staff General Mahmoud Freihat at the King Abdullah air base 35 kilometers northeast of the capital Amman.

“The United States remains committed to supporting the Jordanian air force efforts to protect Jordan’s borders and deter counter acts of terror and contribute to defeat ISIS coalition operations,” Henry Wooster, Charge d‘Affaires of the US Embassy in Jordan, said during the ceremony, which saw the choppers land in a mock hostage situation.

The Black Hawk helicopters will be operated by Jordan’s US-funded quick reaction force, which is tasked with fighting the threat from Takfiri terrorist groups in the neighboring Syria and Iraq.

“The force is capable of moving troops and supplies anywhere in Jordan on short notice to reinforce border security and repel potential incursions,” Wooster said.

Later Votel told CNN that Amman, as a staunch ally of Washington, was also a key partner of the Pentagon.

“Jordan has been a fantastic partner for a number of years here, I think what you saw in our demonstration here today is the maturity of our relationship. Jordanians are operating top of the line equipment and doing a great job with it,” Votel said.

Jordan’s geographical characteristics, including its Tanf garrison in the southeastern Syrian desert, has grabbed Washington’s attention in its quest for an ideal logistics and supply hub.

Currently, there are hundreds of US Army trainers in Jordan. The US has also deployed batteries of its Patriot missile systems in the kingdom.

The Pentagon also plans to spend millions of dollars to perform an expansion and upgrade at the Muwaffak Salti air base located near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

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