Official: Pentagon team in Jordan for Syria crisis

By Pauline Jelinek

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10 2012 6:45 a.m. MDT

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees being taken by Jordanian military bus to Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq city, after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, into Thnebeh town, in Ramtha , Jordan, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.

Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — A U.S. defense official says an American military team is in Jordan to help with upheaval created by the crisis in neighboring Syria.

He says some 100 military planners and other personnel stayed in Jordan after attending an annual May exercise and several dozen more have flown in since — operating from a joint U.S.-Jordanian military center north of Amman that Americans have used for years.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the mission on the record.

The official stressed that the team is not there to fight, but rather for contingency planning on a number of issues including how to handle the flood of Syrian refugees in Jordan and creating a buffer zone to protect the ally in the continuing crisis.

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