First Published: 2018-03-22

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre
Second centre of its kind to be launched by US and Jordan, one of the strongest allies of the United States in the Middle East.
Middle East Online

Members of the Jordanian Gendarmerie attend during the cermony of opening a new regional counter-terrorism training facility near the city of Karak, south of Amman, Jordan.

AMMAN - Jordan and the United States unveiled a counterterrorism training centre south of Amman on Thursday aimed at boosting the capacity of local forces in a region beset by conflict.

The centre connected to the Jordanian Police Academy was opened in Suwaqah, 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the Jordanian capital.

It aims to prepare security forces to cope with crisis management, hostage-taking, cyberterrorism and the detection of explosives.

"The anti-terrorism assistance programme for Jordan is ongoing and very important to us," Michael T. Evanoff, the US deputy secretary of state for diplomatic security, told reporters at the opening ceremony.

"The training saves lives and helps build the capacity of the host country. I am very happy to open this centre, and I look forward to its expansion and use as a central hub," he said.

It is the second centre of its kind to be launched by the US and Jordan, one of the strongest allies of the United States in the Middle East.

They previously opened the King Abdullah II training centre for special operations in Zarqa, east of Amman, in 2009.

Last month, the United States pledged $1.2 billion (810 million euros) in annual aid to Jordan from 2018 to 2022.

It was the first such agreement between the two countries since US President Donald Trump took office last year.

Under the memorandum, the US will provide at least $750 million (609 million euros) a year in economic assistance and $350 million (284 million euros) in military aid.

Jordan hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Syria and Iraq, placing a heavy strain the country's economy.

According to the UN High Committee for Refugees (UNHCR), about 650,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Jordan since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

Jordanian authorities say they host 1.3 million Syrian refugees and estimate that the war has cost the kingdom $10 billion (8.1 billion euros).


Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Can Arab satellite TV catch up with social media?

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’

Mass grave discovered under Raqa football pitch

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender