1. STRATEGIC

    Report: U.S. Military Sent to Jordan

    Newly-arrived Syrian refugee families after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, into Thnebeh town, in Ramtha , Jordan,  Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.  More than 100,000 Syrians fled their country in August, the highest monthly total since the crisis began in March 2011, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday. That exodus sharply increased the number of Syrians now living in neighboring countries, bringing the total number of refugees to 234,368 in the past 17 months, the agency said. Along. (AP Photo / Mohammad Hannon)

    Mohammad Hannon / AP Photo

    The U.S. has secretly sent military advisers to Jordan to help the armed forces with the flood of refugees that have come over the Syrian border, officials told The New York Times on Wednesday. The task force, comprised of about 150 planners and other specialists, will also draw up plans to protect Jordan, a key ally in the region as the Syrian civil war has spilled over into Turkey. Turkey’s chief of staff said Wednesday that they will use “greater force” if shelling continues along the Syrian border. Meanwhile, opposition fighters in Syria claimed on Wednesday to have gained control of Maarat al-Numan, a strategic town in Idlib province.

    Read it at The New York Times