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Jordan can respond to any threat in less than one hour — army chief

By JT - Feb 11,2015 - Last updated at Feb 11,2015

AMMAN — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Gen. Mashal Al Zaben on Wednesday said the country does not need to send any military troops to the borders at this time, pointing out that the country’s borders are completely safe.  

He told reporters in Baghdad that Jordan can respond to any danger “in less than one hour”, without resorting to ground operations, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“Jordan does not need to mobilise any military units to the border in the meantime because our borders are 100 per cent safe,” he said.

Zaben, who is also His Majesty King Abdullah’s military adviser, made the remark at a joint press conference with Iraq’s Defence Minister Khaled Al Obeidi.

He added: “Armies are redeployed in pursuance of military requirements,” noting that any redeployment of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) within Jordan’s borders “is a sovereign decision”.

The army chief also warned that anyone who may consider launching any attacks on Jordanian territory “will face death”.

Obeidi described the visit of Zaben to Iraq as “timely” in light of the growing terrorist threats against the region, and Arab and Islamic countries, highlighting the high level of coordination between Jordan and Iraq in combating terrorism. 

Regarding the Iraqi army’s preparations for a ground operation against the so-called Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, he said: “Preparations have been going on for months and when the battle requirements are completed, we will launch an operation to liberate Mosul.”  

At the beginning of the press conference, Zaben said his visit to Iraq was to convey a message from King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of JAF, the Jordanian government and people that the two countries are fighting the same war against terrorism.

“Jordan and Iraq are in the same trench fighting the danger of terrorist gangs and defeating them wherever they are,” he said.

During his brief visit to Baghdad, Zaben met with Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, and stressed Jordan’s support for Iraq in combating IS.

The Iraqi premier expressed his appreciation of Jordan’s stand. He expressed his condolences over the death of Jordanian pilot Muath Kasasbeh at the hands of the terrorist organisation. 

At a meeting with Iraq’s defence minister, ahead of the press conference, the two sides discussed ways to boost cooperation and joint military coordination, besides several other issues concerning the Jordanian and the Iraqi armed forces, Petra reported.

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