China is offering to sell Jordan missile-firing drones to fight against Islamic State following the US’ delay to aid, Washington Times reported Friday.
Jordan urgently needed drones as ISIL captured one of the F-16 pilots and burned him alive. “I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said in a letter on Thursday to President Obama.
Rep. Hunter, who represents the San Diego area, home to the Predator’s manufacturer, stressed the Obama administration to approve the sale of Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft to the kingdom. He also raised the possibility of its main ally Jordan turning towards China for military equipments.
Jordan had planned to buy unarmed MQ-1 Predators from US to find Islamic State targets and monitors its movements in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
Jordan is a main coalition member in the war against the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS), flying US F-16 fighters in coordination with American warplanes. The delays in US considerations and process is a serious mistake as it would help Chinese advisers, pilots and technicians to gain access and influence in the Arab kingdom, Mr Hunter said in the letter. .
Apart from providing a new market for China to export its technology, any incorporation of Chinese assets will directly harm US interoperability. Mr. Hunter added.
I am confident that we can curtail Jordan’s interest in Chinese assets by taking this immediate action,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has told Congress that the administration is considering a Predator sale to Jordan.
The Predator is a main asset for US war planners in Iraq as it allows them to find ISIL troop concentrations and vehicles.