Jordan, US Hold Military Exercise in Desert, Across Border from Syria

Created: 2013-06-19 22:37 EST

Category: World

Missile fire in the desert --- and tanks maneuver for a ground attack all under the watchful eye of U.S. and Jordanian military commanders who are finishing up a joint exercise called "Eager Lion"

There were explosions and other shows of force in the Jordanian desert --- just across the border from Syria. Some are speculating that the U.S. may keep Patriot missiles and F-16 fighter jets in the area beyond the exercises.

Rear Admiral William Lescher.

[William Lescher, Head Of The Expedition]:
"I have about 2,000 Marines here, as well as my three ships and amphibious readiness group. We're going to bring Marine forces back and load them back on my ships, over the course of a few days, as well as the Marine aircraft that I have, will fly back aboard the ships, and we are going to depart."

He went on to add that the exercise was simply a chance for multi-lateral cooperation, although Syria's President Bashar al Assad will likely be unnerved by the increased military might in his backyard --- particularly after the U.S. announced it would begin arming rebels.