Report: US embassy in Jordan to weigh Kingdom's drone request after move toward China alternative

Jordan has reportedly requested to buy the unarmed MQ-1 Predators to find Islamic State targets in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

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May 18, 2015 18:08
1 minute read.
Hermes 900 drone

Hermes 900 drone. (photo credit: IDF)

The US embassy in Jordan told a local newspaper that Washington would consider any new request for drones after a recent report that the country had decided to buy them from China instead after the US rejected a drone sale late last year.

US Embassy spokesman Silvio Gonzalez told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad in a report published on Monday that according to a new export policy any new request would be considered.

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US Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been pressuring unsuccessfully for the Obama administration to sell unarmed surveillance drones to Jordan, warning that the country was turning to China instead, The Washington Times reported on Thursday.

“I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” said Hunter in a letter on Thursday to President Barack Obama.

Jordan has requested to buy the unarmed MQ-1 Predators to find Islamic State targets in neighboring Iraq and Syria, said the report.

“Allowing Jordan to obtain Chinese assets––simply due to delays in U.S. considerations and process—is a serious mistake,” added Hunter.

Jordan is taking part in the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Last October, the Obama administration officially rejected a request from General Atomics to export a new export version of the unarmed MQ-1 Predator XP drone to Jordan, Foreign Policy reported in February. The report cited the office of congressman Hunter, whose San Diego district houses the headquarters of the drone manufacturing company.


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