France Mulls Military Deployment in Jordan for Islamic State fight

Smoke rises during fighting between the Islamic State and Kurdish forces in an eastern Kobani neighbourhood

Reports from France posits that it will decide in the coming weeks whether to send fighter jets to Jordan so as to help strike Islamic State militants in Iraq in an effort to increase the number of missions and reduce the cost, the army spokesman and officials said on Thursday. Reuters report:

France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in air strikes on IS insurgents in Iraq, who have also taken control of large parts of neighboring Syria during the course of the three-year-old civil war there.

“We are thinking about a deployment in Jordan,” Army spokesman Gilles Jaron told reporters, adding that it was being discussed with authorities in Amman.

“It would reduce time in the air between take-off and missions above Iraq,” he said.

It currently has nine fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft, a refueling plane at its base in the United Arab Emirates as part of its “Chammal” Iraq mission, as well as a war ship in the Gulf.

Two French diplomats said putting jets in Jordan would also help reduce costs at a time when the government is under pressure to cut spending and this week was forced to find ways to fill a 600 million euro budget gap in additional costs for overseas military operations.