Jordan says it is prepared to deal with any Syrian chemical weapons threat
Syrian refugee youth play soccer at Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Mafraq, Jordan, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. (AP / Mohammad Hannon)
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 11:23AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 30, 2012 10:36PM EST
AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan says it is prepared to deal with any potential chemical weapon threat posed by the ongoing violence in neighbouring Syria, but adds it will not enter "any alliance" to protect itself.
Jordan, the U.S. and others have expressed concern that Syrian President Bashar Assad could use chemical weapons in a last-ditch effort to save his regime.
Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah did not provide details on Jordan's capabilities to thwart a chemical attack in remarks carried by the official Petra news agency Sunday.
But other Jordanian officials have said U.S. and British military experts have provided training in protecting civilians in case of a chemical attack on Jordanian territory.
Maaytah also said the 21-month Syrian crisis has put enormous pressure on Jordan's infrastructure as it now hosts 275,000 refugees.