Hunter imperils Israel, Jordan, US soldiers

The MQ-9 Reaper is larger and more heavily-armed than the MQ-1 Predator and attacks time-sensitive targets with persistence and precision, to destroy or disable those targets/US Air Force

I am not sure Mr. Hunter would trust Jordan’s regime to keep his $600-flight-riding pet rabbit, let alone deadly American drones.

— Mudar Zahran 

Recently, Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-50th District) relaunched congressional pressure on the White House to sell deadly drones to Jordan. Hunter has been lobbying for this deal for almost two years now. He wants Jordan to obtain Reaper and Predator drones.

Obama’s administration rejected the deal.  Primarily because the ruling regime in Jordan cannot be trusted with sophisticated, deadly American military technology. What is most distributing is at best that Congressman Hunter is ignorant of this danger, or worse, aware of it and still pushing for the deal.

The common rhetoric is that Jordan is a “safe” ally of the US. Nonetheless, facts speak louder than any narrative Mr. Hunter and his friends may choose to believe and thereby impose upon the rest of us.

To begin with Mr. Hunter justifies giving Jordan such deadly and advanced weapons system, because he insists that “Jordan is a key ally in the war on ISIS”.

How valid is this claim?

Last year, Jordan’s regime’s operatives were caught stealing US weapons and selling them to rogue militants, One of those guns was illegally sold by them to a senior Jordanian counter-terrorism officer who used it to kill two American military trainers and two South Africans.[1] What is alarming is that none of those officers involved have been named or arrested, and the king has never been questioned on the matter.

Further, 87,000 rounds of ammunition were stolen from the British army in Jordan right at Jordan’s military camps in the south and then mysteriously transported to the Syrian border and sold to, you guessed it, ISIS.[2] Could such things happen in a country like Jordan without the full consent of Jordan’s king? And even if he is, at best, reckless, would Mr. Hunter like to give him drones if he cannot even control ammunition and sells them to ISIS?

The bad news doesn’t stop here. CNN itself- usually very sympathetic to Jordan’s king- has confirmed he was the second biggest buyer of ISIS oil, securing cash flow for ISIS which the terror organization uses to kill Muslim, Christians, and Yazidis.

Other media reports confirmed extensive business dealing between Jordan’s regime and ISIS, including 4,500 Toyota trucks sold to Jordan’s government that ended in ISIS hands. [3]

The problem is even deeper than this. Last November, a Jordanian airman executed three American servicemen in cold blood. The M16 he used to blow the heads off those Americans was paid for by US taxpayers, so was the uniform he was wearing and his body armor. Those special forces officers were training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.[4] A video of the execution was shown to the families of the victims. In the video, the executioner is seen chasing the soldiers for six and half minutes, while they were waving their hands and shouting in Arabic and English: “We’re American’s, we’re friends!”

What was more bizarre is Jordan’s regime’s reaction: they accused the victims of failing to follow the entry procedures and then went as far as defending the killer in an official statement, and shamelessly stating: He had applied the rules of engagement. [5]

This massacre came less than a year after the previous incident noted above, and in both cases, the killers were Jordanian officer directly engaged in the war in Terror.  James Moriarty, father of one of the soldiers killed makes the best argument Hunter and Co. must hear: “If Jordan is our friend, do we need any enemies?”. [6]

That triple murder was not the first time a Jordanian airman kills the innocent. Captain Al-Majali of the Royal Jordanian Air Force joined ISIS in 2013 and died fighting for it in 2015. And the list of Jordanian officers who have joined terror groups and killed Americans does not end here, there are others.

After all of this, could Congressman Hunter give us any guarantees those drones won’t be used by Islamists with Jordan’s forces to kill Americans, Israelis, or Jordanians? In fact, why wouldn’t they as Jordan’s king has been protecting those killers and defending them as with the executioner who killed three American officers last November.

Those drones, if given to Jordan’s regime, could be used to carry out terrorist attacks across Jordan’s borders to Israel, especially that they could fly low and are less detectable than An F16, for example.

The drones smaller in size and therefore somewhat harder to detect. In addition, terrorist could use the drones to attack Israel, US troops in Jordan or even Jordanian civilian targets from the safety of their offices and then, perhaps, they could flee and join terror groups in Syria, as a recent Congress studies report confirms: Jordan is the second largest supplier of ISIS terrorists. [7]

Needless to say, no way this could have happened for too long with such a high number of fighters without Jordan’s king turning a blind eye. [29] Or, at best, he is unable to control his own borders. And Mr. Hunter wants to give him deadly drones.

In fact, the Syrian Government has officially accused Jordan’s regime of facilitating terrorists’ entry into Syria.

Mr. Hunter is being reckless and dangerously irresponsible, and his acts could result in engendering Israel’s borders, American troops, and our Jordanian people.

And to conclude, I am not sure if Mr. Hunter would trust Jordan’s regime to keep his $600-flight-riding pet rabbit, let alone deadly American drones. [8]

Duncan, get a grip.











Mudar Zahran is the Secretrary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition, a known Jordanian- Palestinian politician and writer, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee. His writings regularly appear in Arab, Israeli, and American publications. This article also appeared at Jewish Press.

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