US to send Patriots, F16s to Jordan drill
US patriots, deployed in Turkey, are seen in this photo. Washington will send Patriots to Jordan too. DHA photoThe United States will send a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighters to Jordan for a military drill and may keep the weapons there to counter the threat posed by Syria’s civil war, officials said June 3. The Patriot missile launchers and F-16 warplanes “were approved for deployment to Jordan as part of Exercise Eager Lion,” said Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor, spokesman for U.S. Central Command based in Tampa, Florida. “In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the Government of Jordan.” Officials declined to say how many F-16s would be taking part in the exercise or how many aircraft might stay in Jordan afterwards. The U.S. backed a similar move earlier this year in Turkey, with the NATO alliance deploying Patriot missile batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria.
‘US late in Syrian crisis’
In a separate development, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S. came “late” to an effort to end the Syrian civil war and is trying to prevent the total collapse of the country. “This is a very difficult process, which we come to late,” Kerry said June 3 at a news conference.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.
OIC calls for no-fly zone
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, has called for a no-fly zone over Syria, as long as it has international legal legitimacy. “The benefit, at least, would be that it would stop the regime from using aircraft against its own people. Then, it will have other effects as well,” he told the Daily Beast website. The U.N. Security Council would have to pass a resolution authorizing a no-fly zone in Syria, he said, meaning that the Russians would also have to agree.