US defence chief Ashton Carter arrives in Jordan

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Jordan Tuesday, where he was to meet American troops stationed in the country and colleagues of a Jordanian pilot burned alive by the Islamic State group.

Amman: US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Jordan Tuesday, where he was to meet American troops stationed in the country and colleagues of a Jordanian pilot burned alive by the Islamic State group.

Carter is on the second leg of a regional mission to try to reassure Washington`s allies over the nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, but he was not scheduled to meet Jordanian officials to discuss that subject.

An AFP correspondent said Carter arrived from Israel at the Muwaffak Salti air base in the north of the kingdom from which a US-led coalition carries out air strikes on IS targets.

Jordanian Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh was stationed at the base, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Syrian border, when he was captured in December after his plane was shot down during a mission over the neighbouring country.

In a video two months later, IS showed Kassasbeh standing in a cage, where he was doused with fuel and set on fire and left to burn to death. That prompted global revulsion and vows of international efforts to combat the Sunni Muslim extremist group.

Carter will meet with Kassasbeh`s comrades at the base, as well as with US forces stationed there.

He is scheduled to travel on to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce critic of last week`s nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

The Jewish state argues that the expected lifting of sanctions under the deal will allow the Islamic republic to boost support for anti-Israeli militants.
 

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