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Report: Can Jordan be the alternative of Qatar's Al Udeid for US?

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The Pentagon is planning to spend $143 million on its the strategic Jordan air base looking to its long-term needs in the region, with the US military expanding drone and fighter flights in the region.

The funds are part of the $700 billion Pentagon budget passed last week by Congress, reported Stars and Stripes, the recognized media outlet for the US military community, with the Congress including the funds for Jordan project in the National Defense Authorization Act.

Meanwhile, according to other media reports, the Gulf crisis with Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severing ties with Qatar on the issue of terror funding and political interference has also thrown open questions about the viability of the US maintaining the Al Udeid Air Base in that country.

ALSO READ: Close Al-Udeid base and call Doha’s bluff, US strategic experts urge Washington

For the US, the Al Udeid Air Base is the center of air operations against ISIS in the region with more than one hundred operational aircraft and thousands of personnel. A possible option for the Americans would be to expand its Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, positioned near Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq.

When the Gulf crisis erupted in June this year, President Trump had made remarks to the effect that if the Al Udeid Air Base need to be moved there were plenty of other options available and many countries were willing to host the US forces in the region.