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Thursday
Apr182013

Hagel Says 200 US Troops Heading to Jordan

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. is sending fresh troops and equipment to Jordan to help quell an increasingly volatile situation along the border with Syria.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel assured lawmakers that the 200 soldiers from the Army's 1st Armored Division are mostly planners who will replace a similar number of troops currently deployed in Jordan.

The region has become more unsettled since the conflict in Syria between government and rebel forces began two years ago, with Jordan allowing more than half-a-million refugees to enter its country to escape the ongoing violence in their homeland.

Hagel said the replacement troops, which include specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations, will assist the Jordanian military to deal with violence along the border with Syria.

The defense chief also suggested that American forces will be involved in any operations to deal with the use of chemical weapons if the Syrian military takes that step.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio