(ANTIMEDIA) — In what can only be described as a remarkable coincidence, thousands of U.S. Marines arrived in Jordan at around the same time the U.S., U.K., and France were organizing a direct military strike on Jordan’s neighbor, Syria.
According to the Marine Corps Times, nearly 3,600 U.S. troops, including roughly 1,800 Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, arrived in Jordan for the start of an almost two-week training exercise known as Eager Lion.
On Sunday, thousands of Marines and U.S. troops kicked off a major training exercise that is reportedly set to include civilian evacuation operations, as well as chemical and biological drills. The drills followed the U.S.-led Anglo-alliance’s assault on neighboring Syria, which was allegedly in retaliation for a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma.
While the media delivered a stunning performance on its coverage of Trump’s strikes on the Syrian government, as the Marine Corps Times notes, “little has been made of the fact that thousands of U.S. and Jordanian troops will be training a short skip away from the Syrian border with armored vehicles and military aircraft.”
As Capt. Natalie Poggemeyer, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the Marine Corps Times on Saturday:
“Planned training evolutions include live-fire ranges, fire support coordination exercises, military working dog training, close quarters battle, military operations in urban terrain, chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear training, visit/board/search/seizure, and an Embassy Reinforcement/ Noncombatant Evacuation Operation, among others.”
However, military officials did not confirm whether the chemical and biological training was related to any threats or recent events taking place in Syria.
The annual training exercise in Jordan “is a unique opportunity for U.S. and Jordanian forces to train together, exercise key capabilities, and to pursue new ways to collectively address regional threats,” Poggemeyer also reportedly said. “We’re committed to increasing our understanding and readiness to truly demonstrate we are prepared and trained to deal with crises, in whatever form they may come.”
The drill will also involve AV-8B Harriers, MV-22 Ospreys, and attack helicopters.
The Marines taking part in the drills just recently finished a training exercise called Alligator Dagger in Djibouti, a country located in the Horn of Africa. One has to wonder how many Americans have even heard of Djibouti, let alone the number of Americans who are aware their military has been conducting military drills there. It was also revealed not too long ago that the U.S. has troops in Cameroon, Yemen, Lebanon, Niger, the Philippines, and Egypt, as well as some 2,300 personnel already deployed in Jordan. In January of this year, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made a trip to speak to these same troops at a U.S. base in Jordan near the Syrian border, telling the troops: “President Trump has your back.”
Last year, reports emerged that there was a major buildup of U.S., British, and Jordanian forces near the Syrian border, prompting fears that the U.S. was days away from launching a full-scale invasion of Syrian territory. However, these reports were most likely based on the events that took place during last year’s Eager Lion drill, which, prior to this year regularly took place in May, not April. The Zarqa Jordanian military base is located approximately 100 miles from the Syrian capital of Damascus, which is fairly close when considering the alarming reach of the U.S. military.
Recent events in Syria suggest that the drill may have been moved up by a month due to a reason not yet disclosed to the American public, but one can only hope that this is not yet another sign of a wider military escalation in the Syrian conflict.