Jordan is hosting 900 U.S. military personnel to bolster its defence capabilities against potential threats from the Syrian civil war, its Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has said.

The first Jordanian public official to speak publicly of the numbers of U.S. troops in the Kingdom, Mr. Ensour told reporters on Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training for how to handle a chemical attack.

Jordan is concerned that its larger northern neighbour would use chemical weapons against Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and other neighbouring countries, or that the stockpile may fall into the hands of al-Qaida or other militants if Syrian President Bashar Assad loses control.

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