|Eager Lion 2013 Ready to enter War in Syria via Amman|
|Tradotto da Francesco Giannatiempo|
|Editato da John Catalinotto|
While at Brussels the European Union lifted the embargo on weapons shipments to the anti-Assad troops, more than 15.000 troops from 17 NATO and extra-NATO countries are going to move into Jordan, to start an extensive combined military exercise. As the Amman Government announced, “starting in the next few weeks” the 2013 Eager Lion exercise will start up with air-sea and land battle operations involving the whole country.
In the exercise, that will last about fifteen days, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, France, Jordan, United Kingdom, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, United States, Turkey and Yemen will take part. In preparation for Eager Lion, over the last few days the Jordan National Army Commander in Chief – General Mishal Mohammed Zabin – met with the military leaders of United States, France and Turkey, and with NATO Deputy Secretary-general Alexander Vershbow.
The news of the new war games in Middle East was published the day before Anders Fogh Rasmussen – Atlantic Alliance secretary-general – is visiting Washington. He will meet President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and National Security Officer Tom Donilon. First of all, the focus of the meeting will be the Syrian conflict; the Pentagon is supposedly analyzing the possibility of imposing a No Fly Zone in the skies over Syria, while some NATO countries are proposing an armed intervention similar to the one carried out against Libya two years ago. The armed forces of the countries bordering Syria are already on alert, i.e., Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. In the last few days, Turkey received four “Patriot” missile batteries from NATO, and another two directly from the USA.
United States Special Forces are providing for technical-logistic and intelligence assistance to Jordan’s army. A few months ago, about 200 US Army troops were transferred to Jordan; they are part of the First Armored Division – an armoured division already stationed in Germany and then re-deployed to Fort Bliss, Texas. A dispatch of special units for anti-aircraft war would follow the task-force. Furthermore, Amman requested that the “allied countries” to fortify the “defensive” equipment on the Syrian frontier, supplying additional “Patriot” missile batteries. Meanwhile – according to General Mishal Mohammed Zabin – “to prevent traffic and infiltration into the country”, cameras, radars and sophisticated alarm systems have been installed. Jordan Air-Force fighter-interceptors are taking part to the “surveillance” actions at the Syrian border. One of those (a British-made battle-trainer T-67 “Firefly”) crashed on last May 15, due to not further specified “technical issues”; this caused the death of two crew members. The aircraft had taken off from “King Hussein Air College” base (nearly Mafraq, a small border town), where more than 3.000 soldiers and national police, and 200 troops of the US FirstArmored Division are quartered. According to Associated Press, it is in that installation that the US military “advisers” are supposedly secretly training the rebel groups fighting against Bashar Assad regime.
According to a report published last March by Le Figaro, there will be a second installation used to train and equip Syrian rebels. It is the “King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center” (Kasotc), set up by the US Armed Forces little further north of Amman in late 2008. US, French and British trainers will operate out of this base. “In an ample firing range, the Syrian rebels are trained to use anti-tank weapons, to operate within urban zones, to set ambushes, to face conventional units, etc”, the French daily reported. The “King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center” was the headquarters for 2012 Eager Lion. These military exercises – the most extensive ones in the Middle East sector ever – involved 12.000 soldiers, coming at that time from the US, NATO (Italy included) and Arab partners.