WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Around 700 combat-equipped U.S. troops will stay in Jordan after a training exercise to cope with a worsening security situation arising from the ongoing conflict in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday.
In a letter to Congress leaders, the president said the detachment, as requested by the Jordanian government, will stay after the exercise ended there on Thursday "until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed."
"This detachment that participated in the exercise and remained in Jordan includes Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control, and communications personnel and systems," Obama said.
He said the move was aimed at supporting the security of Jordan and promoting regional stability, as both are in the U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the conflict to neighboring countries like Jordan and Turkey.
The Obama administration has okayed supply of small arms and ammunition directly to the Syrian rebels, and has not ruled out the establishment of a no-fly zone inside Syria in its stepped-up support for the opposition.
Washington concluded last week that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, against the opposition forces, crossing a "red line" set by Obama in his handling of the Syrian conflict that has claimed more than 93,000 lives.
NATO has deployed six Patriot missile batteries to protect Turkish border cities from the potential threat of Syrian missile attacks.