DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Jordan has asked the United States to deploy Patriot air defense systems on its soil, according to Jordanian Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mustafa Hiyari.
“This system is an expensive system, and there’s no way to provide it with local resources,” he told state media Oct. 29. “We need a strategic partner.”
“There are potential ballistic missile threats against Jordan,” he added, without specifying them.
Jordan does not host American bases, Hiyari said, but the U.S. does have a presence in the country to train Jordanian forces and provide upgrades and maintenance to equipment. In January 2021, the countries signed a defense cooperation agreement, which gives the U.S. “unimpeded access” to certain Jordanian facilities.
Also on Sunday, the General Command of the Jordanian Armed Forces dismissed allegations that U.S. aircraft were using local air bases to supply Israel with equipment and ammunition for use in the Israel-Hamas war.
The military alleged the aim of such allegations is to undermine Jordan’s steadfast support of Palestine and to tarnish the reputation of its armed forces. It said Jordanian field hospitals are attending to the casualties from attacks on in the Gaza Strip and the Royal Jordanian Air Force remains committed to delivering humanitarian and relief aid to Palestinians.
The Jordanian government called for an end to violence in Gaza and warned of dangerous repercussions. It has also condemned Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people and emphasized Jordan’s role in protecting the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
Awad Mustafa is a Middle East and Africa correspondent for Defense News.