US military sends new troops to Jordan, sign of growing Syria war


Syrians walk past damaged buildings in Maarat al-Numan, in the northwestern province of Idlib, on March 20, 2013.


Bulent Kilic

The US military is sending new troops to Jordan, a sign of possible growing American involvement in the Syrian conflict.

According to CNN, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the deployment of up to 200 additional troops to Jordan.

Those troops will "create an additional capability" and "potentially form a joint task force for military operations" in Syria if ordered by President Barack Obama.

The comments come on the same day Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said "thousands of fighters had crossed into Syria from Jordan to battle his government's forces," according to Reuters.

"The fire will not stop at our border and everybody knows that Jordan is exposed as Syria is," Assad said on Al-Ikhbariya television.

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Dozens of American troops, mainly special forces, are already in the country assisting Jordan's government, CNN said.

"Currently, the US forces... are troops pulled from various units and places," Hagel said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The new forces will come from the 1st Armored Division, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, the Associated Press reported.

The civil war in Syrian has already killed an estimated 70,000 people and forced over one million people to flee their homes.