Jordanians torch U.S. flag in anti-U.S. protest

Jordanians torch U.S. flag in anti-U.S. protest
Fri Apr 26, 2013 19:41:29

Jordanian protesters torched a U.S. flag at a demonstration in Amman on Friday protesting against plans to deploy 200 U.S. troops to the country to train terrorists for fighting in neighboring Syria.

Protesters took to the streets in the capital to express their opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. troops in their country.

Hundreds of protesters took part in the demonstration after weekly Friday prayers chanting: "We don't want to see American soldiers in our country”.

The demonstrators set off from the al-Husseini mosque in a protest organized by opposition leftist parties and youth groups, carrying signs that read: "The (Jordanian) Arab army protects us" and "U.S. presence undermines national sovereignty."

"No to U.S. troops in Jordan. This is not in our national interest," the demonstrators chanted.
Some demonstrators set on fire a U.S. flag before the rally broke off into two groups, one heading towards the royal palace that overlooks downtown Amman, while the other marched on the main square outside city hall.

Similar protests were held in the northern city of Irbid and in Zarqa, east of the capital, where demonstrators chanted: "America is the head of the snake" and "Syria free, free. America out", witnesses said.

Jordan’s opposition party, the Islamic Action front, has also denounced the presence of American troops in the kingdom and has asked the government to review its decision to authorize the deployment of foreign troops on Jordanian soil.

Earlier this month U.S. Defense Minister Chuck Hagel revealed that some 150 U.S. military specialists have been deployed in Jordan since last year and that he had ordered a U.S. Army headquarters team to bolster the mission, bringing the total American presence to more than 200 troops.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose government has been battling foreign-backed rebels trying to oust him from power since March 2011, warned in an interview this month that the war in his country could spread to Jordan, which he accused of allowing rebels free movement across the border.

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