The U.S could leave Patriot anti-missile batteries and F-16 fighter jets in Jordan following the end of Exercise Eager Lion, a Pentagon spokesman said today.
Jordan has requested the batteries, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has not yet reviewed it, Army Col. Steve Warren was quoted as saying.
“When the secretary receives the request, he will favorably consider it,” Warren said. “Jordan is a strong partner with us. We have a longstanding and strong relationship with the Jordanians, and we want to do what we can to support their security requirements.”
The fighting in neighboring Syria has raised concerns in Jordan. The Patriot batteries and F-16s are going to Jordan to take part in Eager Lion – an annual exercise that this year encompasses 19 nations and about 8,000 service members. It is scheduled to start June 9 and to run through June 20.