The US Pentagon wants to use 143$ million from its budget (passed by Congress last week) to expand and upgrade the Muwaffaq Salti airbase in Jordan, the Stars and Stripes newspaper reported on November 23.
According to the US Air Force budget documents, the US military is going to use the Muwaffaq Salti Airbase to expand drone and warplanes flights in the region. The airbase is considered the most strategic base in Jordan. It is located near the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border in the northern part of the country.
In its budget documents, the US Air Force claimed that the Muwaffaq Salti airbase is operating at “four to five times what the space was originally intended to support”. The US Air Force also said that the US troops currently deployed at the airbase are facing “extreme life, health, and safety risk”.
“To alleviate these risks, to support the influx of personnel, and to provide adequate facilities for a contingency operations population, a new LSA [Life Support Area] to include supporting facilities and infrastructure are required,” the air force documents said, according to Stars and Stripes.
The Pentagon decision could be related to the latest Washington Post report that claimed Trump administration is willing to keep the US Army in Syria after defeating ISIS, until a political solution is reached in the country.
The US had deployed warplanes to Jordan way before ISIS raise in Syria and Iraq. This confirms that the US military deployment in Syria and the planned upgrade of the Muwaffaq Salti Airbase is a part of the wider regional strategy.