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Troops arriving in jordan for excercises { August 13 2002 }

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4,000 U.S. troops arriving in Jordan for major exercises

Tuesday, August 13, 2002
AMMAN Jordan is preparing for the arrival of thousands of U.S. troops for a large-scale military exercise later this month.

Jordanian officials said the 4,000 U.S. soldiers are sailing through the Red Sea toward the Hashemite kingdom. They said the first U.S. soldiers arrived on Monday, Middle East Newsline reported.

The officials said the exercises would not take place in the eastern areas of Jordan near the Iraqi border.

Western diplomatic sources said Jordan has imposed additional restrictions on the media on the eve of the arrival of the U.S. soldiers. They said the closure of Doha-based A-Jazeera television last week was meant to halt unauthorized reports on the U.S. military exercise.

Jordanian Information Minister Mohammed Adwan said Jordanian and U.S. troops would conduct a two-week exercise in a training area in southern Jordan. Adwan termed the exercise as routine and said the U.S. troops would leave the kingdom after the exercise.
Adwan said Jordan is one of several Arab countries that conduct regular military exercises with the United States. He cited Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Jordanian officials said the U.S.-Jordan maneuvers will focus on improving the combat skills of the Hashemite kingdom as well as interoperability between the two militaries. The exercise will include special operations forces from both countries. They said the exercise will not simulate a U.S. military attack on Baghdad nor will U.S. soldiers operate along the Iraqi border.

The sources said the Amman government decided to preempt the arrival of the U.S. troops and release details of the exercise. The sources said Jordan and the United States have agreed to hold two ground and air exercises per year and that all U.S. soldiers will leave by Sept. 8, days after the completion of the exercise.

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