Jordan ready to host U.S. training of Iraqi soldiers fighting al Qaeda militants
In this Thursday, June 20, 2013 photo, special operations forces from Iraq, Jordan and the U.S. conduct an exercise as part of Eager Lion multinational military maneuvers at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) in Amman, Jordan. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)
Jamal Halaby, The Associated Press
Published Sunday, January 19, 2014 10:19AM EST
AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan is ready to host U.S. training of Iraqi soldiers after al-Qaeda militants seized control of two towns in Iraq's contested Anbar province, Information Minister Mohammad Momani said Sunday.
He told the Associated Press that Jordan has received a U.S. request to host the training and that details are being discussed.
"We look positively at the training because it is consistent with our foreign policy goal of fighting terrorism and because we have one of the best security and military training facilities in the region," said Momani, who is also the government spokesman.
He said the training "is in light of long years of military co-operation with the Iraqis and the Americans."
Previously, Jordan hosted U.S. training for thousands of Iraqi forces to help them take control of their country following the toppling of Saddam Hussein in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
In Washington Friday, the Pentagon announced that it will soon deliver to Iraq another installment of small arms and ammunition requested by Baghdad as it battles the militants for control of the city of Fallujah and Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar.
A Pentagon spokesman said that Iraq will be receiving the extra arms and ammunition "very shortly."
However, Army Col. Steve Warren declined to say whether Washington is considering using U.S. troops to train Iraqi forces.
Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the latest arms shipment by name, said the material includes tank ammunition and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. The official said these do not go beyond the types of weaponry the U.S. has already provided to Iraq.