The Pentagon leaked that one of its training camps to help combat the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) is on Jordanian territory — information that the government of Jordan did not want disclosed.
While briefing reporters in the Pentagon on condition of anonymity last week, a U.S. Central Command (Centcom) official disclosed the location of the training site.
In an effort to hide its indiscretion, the Pentagon scrubbed the public transcripts of the press briefing of any mention of the training camp and Jordan.
The pro-U.S. Jordanian kingdom “had specifically requested” that the U.S. keep that information private, explained The Washington Times, adding that the disclosure by the Centcom official marks “the latest gaffe in a series of sensitive leaks coming out of the Department of Defense.”
“In addition to providing the details of the mission, the military official also let slip Jordan was making demonstrable progress toward being ready to train the Syrian rebels, and its training site would be up and running before most of the other nations involved in the plan,” reported The Times.
Typically, the Pentagon discloses anti-ISIS aid provided by partner nations only after those countries have publicly released those contributions.
“Pentagon officials acknowledged Monday that one of its officers, who was briefing reporters on condition of anonymity last week, likely made the mistake,” revealed The Washington Times.
“Either the official made a mistake or is deliberately leaking information to put the administration’s plans for Syria in a better light in an attempt to defuse criticism that the administration has bungled efforts to aid Syrian rebels,” James Phillips, a national security analyst at The Heritage Foundation, told The Times.
The anonymous Centcom official disclosed details about the upcoming Mosul operation along with the location of the anti-ISIS training camp in Jordan during the Pentagon press briefing last week.
Analysts told The Washington Times that Jordan fears retaliation from ISIS: The Islamic State may view Jordan as too close to the U.S.
Jordan is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. It is part of the Arab coalition that continues to participate in the U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.