The United States House of Representatives passed a legislation Tuesday to aid Jordan in its fight against the Islamic State group, and speed up arms sale to its ally. The bill, passed by voice vote, will reportedly go to the Senate for consideration.
The measure will put Jordan on the same level as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries for three years. This means that the country reportedly will benefit from “expeditious consideration” that will accelerate the review of arms exchanges. Apart from the NATO alliance, the privilege is extended to Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
Until January 2015, the U.S. gave $467 million to Jordan in humanitarian aid.
“Jordan sits on the front lines of the fight against ISIS and a refugee crisis in Syria where millions have been displaced,” Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, according to Agence France-Presse. “As a longtime key partner for peace and security in the region, it is important the U.S. support Jordan as it confronts these security challenges."
About 630,000 Syrian refugees have taken shelter in Jordan, the Hill reported, citing the United Nations.
The move comes five months after the Islamic militant group burnt a Jordanian fighter pilot alive in a cage. Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh was taken hostage by ISIS in December 2014 after his F-16 fighter jet went down during a military mission against the group in northern Syria, the New York Times reported at the time.