Jordan to open airspace to Israeli drones following US visit
Jordan has decided to open its airspace to Israeli drones used to monitor activity in Syria. The decision, which was leaked by French newspaper Le Figaro earlier this week, came about following consultations between King Abdullah II of Jordan and US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to the region.
Allowing Israel to use Jordanian airspace means that Israel can choose to avoid crossing southern Lebanon in order to conduct such activity.
This comes as Israel yesterday made its first public admission that it was behind a strike inside Syrian territory in January, with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon telling reporters that Israel had “acted” to prevent the flow of arms to Hezbollah.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is currently in Jerusalem on the first stage of a visit to the Middle East, stated last week that the US is avoiding Syrian intervention, but it has agreed plans for cooperation with Jordan to deal with a range of outcomes.
Speaking in Jerusalem yesterday, Hagel also announced increased arms sales to Israel, including military fighter jets and superior missile technology. He stated that this is to ensure that Israel retains a military edge over surrounding territories.
This is part of a 10 billion USD arms package including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to strengthen US ties in the region.
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