US delivers Black Hawks to Jordan for anti-IS battle

US delivers Black Hawks to Jordan for anti-IS battle
Jordan has received eight refurbished helicopters for its battle against Islamic State group extremists across its borders, as part of ongoing US military support to the Hashemite kingdom.
2 min read
03 March, 2016
Jordan is part of a US-led military coalition against the Islamic State group [Getty]

Jordan recieved eight refurbished Black Hawk helicopters from the US on Thursday, which will make up part of its aerial armada against the Islamic State group across its borders.

Jordan is one of Washington's closest allies in the region, and part of a US-led military coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq.

The kingdom also faces internal threats from IS sympathisers, Salafists and other al-Qaeda linked extremists.

Earlier this week, Jordanian troops killed seven suspected IS-linked militants in a raid in the northern city of Irbid. The suspects had allegedly plotted attacks in Jordan.

Alice Wells, US ambassador to Jordan, said in a handover ceremony on Thursday that the delivery of the Black Hawks is part of ongoing military support for Jordan that also includes additional guns and surveillance equipment.

Wells told her hosts at Marka military airport in the capital of Amman that "as you employ these aircraft in the fight against Daesh [IS], please know that we are honoured to partner with you."

The ambassador said the helicopters will also help secure Jordan's borders, which are currently being monitored with a US-built electronic detection system.

After she spoke, one of the helicopters swooped low over the seven others parked on the tarmac.

US officials said eight more Black Hawks of an upgraded type are to be delivered to Jordan by the end of 2017, as part of a military aid package of several hundred million dollars.

Wells said the United States has also expedited delivery of more than 26,000 rifles and machine guns, more than 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition, hundreds of bombs and 5,000 night vision devices to Jordan.