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Report: Jordan to Protect Israel with Patriots

Report: Jordan will place Patriot missile batteries on its territory to protect itself and Israel against air strikes from Syria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/24/2012, 6:44 AM

Jordan's King Abdullah
Jordan's King Abdullah
Flash 90

Jordan will place four Patriot missile batteries on its territory, to protect both itself and Israel against air strikes originating in Syria, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Thursday.

A European Middle East expert told the newspaper that the missiles will be stationed in northern Jordan, near the city of Irbid which is located close to Jordan’s border with Syria. According to the report, Germany will provide Jordan with the Patriot batteries, which it bought from the U.S. after the Gulf War in 1991.

Le Figaro claimed that the U.S. has already agreed to place the missile batteries in Jordan, and various sources told the newspaper that Israel worked behind the scenes to help to implement the plan.

“The Patriot missiles would allow the interception of Scud missiles over the skies of Jordan, even before they reach Israeli territory,” the expert told the French newspaper, adding that Israel fears Syria will make use of M-600 Scud missiles, which have a range of 300 km, if Syrian President Bashar Assad is pressured enough and feels he has no choice but to divert attention by attacking Israel.

Experts have warned against a possible Syrian attack on Israel if Assad feels threatened by the anti-regime protesters in his country.

The Hizbullah terror group, which is backed by Iran and Syria, recently said it would do everything necessary to prevent Assad’s fall Assad as leader of Syria – even attacking Israel.

The group said it was working to ensure Assad's preservation as leader of the country, and that it has some “surprises” for anyone that tried to remove Assad from power.

The Israeli Defense Ministry and the Jordanian authorities refused to comment on the report in Le Figaro.