Royal Jordanian Air Force fighters intercepted and destroyed “a number of armored vehicles” on Wednesday on the country’s border with Syria, according to a Jordanian military statement. The statement claimed a number of “camouflaged vehicles” were spotted attempting to enter the country through rough terrain away from the primary border crossings. RJAF F-16s responded to the incursion, subsequently firing warning shots. When the vehicles failed to respond they were “targeted and destroyed.” However, the statement did not say whether the vehicles belonged to the Syrian military or other unidentified militants. A Syrian military source, quoted by the state-run SANA, said no Syrian Arab Army vehicles were mobilized in the area of the strike, noting the vehicles shot by the Jordanian armed forces were not from Bashar Al Assad’s military. Jordan is host to a large refugee population fleeing the Syrian civil war, and the Assad government has repeatedly criticized Jordan for not cracking down on the flow of rebels and weapons into the country. Since the start of the civil war, the Jordanians have expanded military cooperation activities with the US, such as the annual Eager Lion exercise, where USAF fighter crews train with their RJAF counterparts.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.