Jordan to conduct wargames with 18 countries

AMMAN, May 25: More than 15,000 soldiers from 18 different countries will take part in a joint military exercise in Jordan in the coming weeks, a military official said on Saturday.

Jordan’s armed forces will host the “Eager Lion 2013” exercise with troops from “friendly countries”, including the United States, participating, the official Petra news agency cited the official as saying.

They would take part in battlefield, logistics and humanitarian exercises alongside troops from Britain, Bahrain, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, he added.

The official did not say when the manoeuvres were due to begin but said they would run for two weeks and follow last year’s “successful” operation.

Jordan is a major beneficiary of US military and economic aid, with Washington granting $2.4 billion in the past five years, according to official figures.

The wargames will be held as Jordan is currently hosting around 500,000 refugees who fled the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Amman has repeatedly sought for more support in dealing with the influx.—AFP