The Associated Press reports the United States has sent troops to the Jordan-Syria border to monitor the chemical and biological weapon sites on Syria’s territory. The decision of the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggests that the recent shelling between Turkey and Syria could escalate into a regional conflict.
U.S. Defense Secretary announced on Wednesday that 150 U.S. troops, largely Army special operations forces, were sent to a military center near Amman to take actions in case the conflict between Jordan and Syria gets bigger. According to Panetta, the troops will help Jordan deal with the numerous refugees crossing over the Syrian border and ensure that Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal is not moved to a different location.
The United States have been continuously cooperating with Jordan to prevent the expansion of the conflict in the region. The troops residing at the military center in Amman moved back and forth to the Syrian border performing activities such as joint planning and intelligence gathering. Analysts fear that America’s involvement in the Syrian conflict has grown bigger even though Obama rejects any suggestion of a direct intervention in the region.
The fact that Turkey and Syria bombarded each other in the past weeks, gives analysts many more reasons to believe that the conflict could expand to the neighboring states. Panetta, however, explained that the U.S. troops were sent to Jordan to prevent similar clashes to occur between Jordan and Syria.
Mitt Romney has criticized Barack Obama’s foreign policy claiming the latter is a weak leader. Romney further added that he would have sent troops to Jordan in order to prevent Syria from spreading its chemical weapons. Obama, on the other hand, warned that the movement or the use of the chemical weapons could have “enormous consequences”; therefore, he ignored Romney’s suggestions.
Panetta stated that the intelligence found some of the chemical weapons have been moved by the Assad regime in order to protect them. The United States is wrong to believe that the weapons are secure because the regime said they would use them for external threats.