Jordan Begs for the United States Gov to Supply It With Patriot Systems as Regional Tensions Escalate

The Kingdom of Jordan recently requested  that the United States government deploy its Patriot air defense systems, a spokesman for the country’s military announced on October 29, 2023, as fears of  regional tensions continue dialing up. 

“We asked the American side to help bolster our defense system with Patriot air defense missile systems,” Jordanian army spokesman, Brigadier General Mustafa Hiyari, said to state-media. 

Hiyari denied allegations that Jordan’s bases were being used to deliver military aid to Israel for its military campaign in Gaza. 

“The drones have become a threat on all our fronts,” the spokesman continued, making a reference to drones carrying drugs that enter Jordanian territory from Syria. 

The Jordanian has recently made efforts to combat increased drug smuggling from Syria. 

He also stated that the Jordanian government requested the Patriots because “this system is an expensive system and there’s no way to provide it with local resources. We need a strategic partner,” continuing by noting that there are potential ballistic missile threats against Jordan. Curiously, the Jordanian government official did not provide specifics about the threats’ origins.

“Be sure that not a single bullet was transferred towards the Israeli army from Jordanian airports,” he added. 

He continued by noting that Jordan does “not have American bases … on Jordanian soil,” asserting that any American presence on its soil is for the purpose of training Jordanian forces and to provide them with  upgrades and maintenance services for equipment. 

Back January 2021, the Syrian and United States governments signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement which grants the US “unimpeded access” to Jordanian facilities. 

In another case, the Jordanian army decalee that Jordanian bases were being used to send equipment to Israel.

“General Command of the Jordanian Armed Forces … on Sunday dismissed allegations circulating on social media that the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) bases have been used by U.S. aircraft to supply the Israeli army with equipment and ammunition for use in the war against the Gaza Strip,” Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported on October 29, 2023. 

“Such rumors aim to undermine Jordan’s steadfast stance on the Palestinian cause and tarnish the reputation of its armed forces. Despite facing numerous challenges, Jordanian field hospitals persist in attending to the casualties from Gaza,” the media outlet cited an anonymous military source in this instance.  

Since the Hamas-Israel conflict kicked off on October 7, several news outlets, which includes Israeli daily Haaretz, have reported a notable US military buildup in Jordan. Per Haaretz, a squadron of UK-based US fighter jets was sent earlier in October to Jordan’s Muwaffaq Salti Air Base.

On October 14, the US Air Force announced that a squad of fighters was deployed to the Middle without providing specifics as to where exactly these Air Force assets were being deployed to. 

Jordan has repeatedly pushed for humanitarian aid being sent to Gaza unimpeded. Jordan has been vocal in its opposition to Israel’s punitive military campaign in Gaza. In turn, it has put forward a UN General Assembly resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which was ultimately passed on October 27. 

The Middle East is a mess. And it will likely continue to be. The US getting involved in this god-forsaken region will only worsen matters and potentially open it up for nasty blowback attacks. 

One of the more common sense measures the US could pursue with regards to the Middle East is to stop sending valuable military aid to countries of that region. Such resources could be better used to bolster security at the southern border — a much more pressing national security concern for the country.

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