Jordan’s air defence ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace

By Thomson Reuters Apr 13, 2024 | 4:30 PM

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s air defences were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace, two regional security sources said.

They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring any drone activity coming from the direction of Iraq and Syria.

Residents in several cities in the northern part of the country near Syria and central and southern areas heard heavy aerial activity. A security source said the country’s air force was intensifying reconnaissance flights.

Jordan had earlier said it closed its airspace starting on Saturday night to all incoming, departing and transiting aircraft in what officials told Reuters were precautionary measures in the event of an Iranian strike across its border.

Jordan neighbours Syria and Iraq – both countries where Iranian proxy forces operate – and also sits next door to Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

It has watched Israel’s war against the Palestinian group Hamas, another Iranian ally, with rising alarm fearing it gets caught in a crossfire.

Late last year, Amman asked Washington to deploy Patriot air defence systems to Jordan to bolster its border defences.

Officials say the Pentagon had since increased its military aid to the kingdom, a major regional ally, where hundreds of U.S. troops are based and hold extensive exercises with the army throughout the year.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)