US military puts task force in Jordan: Report

The US has set up a special military force in Jordan for helping the country tackle Syrian refugees' influx, a media report said Wednesday.

According to The New York Times, the US has secretly set up a special military force in Jordan to help the country cope with an influx of refugees from Syria, prepare in case Syria loses control of its chemical weapons and be ready for the possibility that the conflict there could spill over Syria’s borders.

The report, quoting unnamed US "officials familiar with the operation", described the unit as a task force comprising more than 150 planners and other specialists based at a Jordanian military training centre north of Amman and led by a senior American officer.

It said the force was focused on helping Jordan handle tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who have crossed the border and added that the prospect of creating a "buffer zone" to insulate Jordan, a key US ally in the volatile region, from the unrest in Syria had been discussed.

The buffer zone would be enforced by Jordanian forces on the Syrian side of the border and could be "supported politically and perhaps logistically by the US", the report said, adding that this was only a contingency plan at present.

The Pentagon had no immediate comment on the report.

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