Jordan troops clash with militants on Syria border

Clashes erupt between Jordanian border guards and militants just hours after Jordan confirms its war planes took part in US-led air raid against IS

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed Tuesday that the US and allies, which includes Jordan, targeted IS (AFP)
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Friday 13 February 2015 0:30 UTC
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Clashes erupted in the early hours of Wednesday between Jordanian troops and gunmen across the kingdom's border with Syria, a security source said.
 
"The Jordanian border guards engaged in an exchange of fire with identified gunmen across the border, but no injuries were reported," the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
 
The source said that the militants might have tried to infiltrate the border before being repelled by the Jordanian border guards.
 
However, sources with opposition groups in Syria said that the Jordanian forces fired at specific targets in the border town of Zayzun. Yet, they did not give further details.
 
The confrontation came hours after Jordan confirmed the participation of its warplanes in a US-led air offensive against the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.
 
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Tuesday that the US and partner nations had carried out airstrikes against the militant group in Syria.
 
He added that the US and allied forces were using a combination of fighter and bomber aircraft – in addition to Tomahawk cruise missiles – to attack IS targets.
 
The Jordanian Armed Forces also confirmed that they had participated in the attacks saying in a statement that: 
 
"Jordanian air force planes destroyed some selected targets of terrorist groups which had been sending their members to carry out destructive activities in Jordan" 
 
"Unfortunately, attempts to penetrate the border increased in the past two months," the statement said. No further details were given.
 
Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama authorised the US military to strike IS targets in Syria as part of a larger strategy to combat the militants.
 
This summer, IS captured large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, later declaring the territories under its control an Islamic "caliphate."
 
Under a new strategy unveiled by Obama earlier this month, the US plans to lead an international coalition against the militant group throughout Iraq and Syria.
 
Obama has asserted, however, that US combat troops would not be deployed in Iraq to fight the group.