18-Nation Military Exercise Kicks Off in Jordan

18-Nation Military Exercise Kicks Off in Jordan
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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan has kicked off a two-week military exercise with some 10,000 participants from 18 countries, many members of a U.S.-led military coalition against the Islamic State group, which controls much of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

The kingdom is hosting the "Eager Lion" drill for the fifth year, but amid dramatically different circumstances.

Since the last drill, IS has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq and is seen as a threat to the stability of Jordan, a Western ally.

Jordan's Brig. Gen. Fahad al-Damen, in charge of joint training, told reporters on Tuesday that the rise of extremist groups mandates cooperation "to fight all aspects and types of terrorism."

U.S. Maj. Gen. Rick B. Mattson says the drill will include responses to conventional and unconventional threats, including border security.

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