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US renews training of elite Iraqi forces in Jordan

ByREUTERS
May 8, 2014 05:35

The United States is resuming training for elite Iraqi soldiers in Jordan, a US official said on Wednesday, as Washington seeks to bolster US support for the Iraqi government's battle against Islamist militants.

A small number of US special forces will take part in a training exchange in Jordan with Iraqi counterterrorism forces beginning in early June, a US defense official said on condition of anonymity.



The program is similar to an initial counterterrorism training course US forces held with Iraqi and Jordanian forces in Jordan earlier this year, and will involve a total of 50 soldiers from the United States, Iraq and Jordan, the official said.



"ISIL is our enemy as well as Iraq's, and we want to continue supporting them in this fight," the official said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al Qaeda-inspired group leading insurgencies in Iraq and Syria.



In part, the additional counterterrorism training signals the Obama administration's continued fears about spiraling violence in Iraq, where bloodshed has returned to levels not seen since the height of the sectarian conflict that followed the US-led invasion in 2003.



It also underscores fears about extremist activity across the region that officials believe has been fueled by the war in Syria.

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