Jordan sends trainers to Afghanistan

Oct. 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Jordan has dispatched a group of military instructors to Afghanistan in an attempt to help train the war-ravaged country's security forces.

Jordan's state news agency, Petra, said the instructors were from the country's armed force and security services.

"They will train Afghan forces in security methods to help them do their duty in restoring law and order there," the Jordanian news agency reported.

The move comes as the NATO alliance, facing waning public support for the war in Afghanistan, gears to begin a transition period next year. During that period the Afghan army and police will take over security control from U.S.-led troops in some parts of the country.

The Petra news agency didn't disclose how many Jordanian trainers were due in Afghanistan. Amman conceded last March that it was considering a NATO request to help train Afghan police but never publicly announced its decision.

Two months later, the country's Information Minister Nabil Sharif told a news conference that Jordan had trained 2,500 members of Afghanistan's special forces. No details were provided by anonymous sources have indicated that the training took place in 2007.

"This was in the past," he said. "There are no trainees now."

During that same month, Jordan was the host for an international military competition in which countries like Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and the United States competed in such tactical skills as marksmanship, stamina, and teamwork.

Jordan has worked closely with the United States in hunting terrorist groups.

Jordan has been involved in intelligence cooperation with the CIA since al-Qaida suicide bombers set off devices at three Amman hotels in 2005, killing 60 people and wounding hundreds.

The blast was masterminded by Jordanian fugitive Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, who was an al-Qaida commander in Iraq.

In published remarks, Jordan's Special Forces chief, Brig. Ali Jaradat has said that 1,500 servicemen, including anti-terror forces, from Afghanistan and Iraq have received training at the $200 million King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, which was inaugurated in May last year.

The counterinsurgency facility has also been used by Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia, for similar training stints.

Amman first acknowledged it counter-terrorism role in Afghanistan earlier this year, shortly after the suicide-bomb attack that killed a senior intelligence officer, who was also a member of the royal family.

His death along with seven CIA personnel spotlighted for the first time Jordan's role in the international coalition in the war-hit country.

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