U.S.: No Patriot missiles to Jordan-Syria border

U.S. officials say they are not discussing or preparing to send Patriot missiles to the Jordanian border with Syria. "We are unaware of any discussions of sending Patriots to the Jordanian border," a U.S. defense official told the E-Ring, on Friday. "It’s patently false."  State Department officials also say they know nothing of the claim ...

KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. officials say they are not discussing or preparing to send Patriot missiles to the Jordanian border with Syria.

"We are unaware of any discussions of sending Patriots to the Jordanian border," a U.S. defense official told the E-Ring, on Friday. "It's patently false." 

State Department officials also say they know nothing of the claim first made in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. The paper cited one "unnamed Jordan source," which was enough to cause a stir in Washington on Friday, claiming that the United States is shifting a Patriot missile battery from Qatar and one from Kuwait.

U.S. officials say they are not discussing or preparing to send Patriot missiles to the Jordanian border with Syria.

"We are unaware of any discussions of sending Patriots to the Jordanian border," a U.S. defense official told the E-Ring, on Friday. "It’s patently false." 

State Department officials also say they know nothing of the claim first made in the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. The paper cited one "unnamed Jordan source," which was enough to cause a stir in Washington on Friday, claiming that the United States is shifting a Patriot missile battery from Qatar and one from Kuwait.

The story was picked up by the Times of Israel and the Washington Times.

Middle East Monitor also picked up the item, including it in a larger article about U.S. plans to send a U.S. Army headquarters element to Amman, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced publicly this week: "The sources also said that Jordan asked Washington for Patriot batteries during the recent visit by President Barack Obama to Jordan, and the U.S. administration promised to secure two batteries from Qatar and Kuwait during the next week." 

Hagel leaves Saturday for Middle East trip that includes visits to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

In a background briefing early on Friday, a senior defense official, when asked about the report of Patriot missiles being moved to Jordan, said, "I don’t want to comment on anything specifically regarding what might be on or off the table, in terms of what we’re talking about with the Jordanians," and pointed instead to the headquarters element the U.S. had just offered. 

"Part of the point of the trip is to hear directly from the Jordanian military officials about their needs, which are considerable, obviously — but their specific needs and what we may be able to do to help them." 

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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