Jordan takes chemical agent precautions along border with Syria

Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on Wednesday that the country is taking precautionary measures along its border with Syria in case Syrian authorities use chemical weapons in the fight against rebel groups.

During an interview at his office in Amman, Ensour said that the measures include provisions for medical aid. He gave no further details related to the measures the country was taking, Bloomberg reports.

"(The measures) could lessen the casualties but they would not safeguard the whole society," Ensour said, according to Bloomberg.

Ensour said that Jordan cannot afford to implicitly trust Syria's pledges not to use chemical weapons to repel the insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad.

"Of course we have to be worried," Ensour said, according to Bloomberg. "We cannot take for granted the assertions that Syrian officials are making."

Ensour said that while America and other friendly governments helped Jordan to carry out a training exercise a few months ago, the exercise was completely technical and was unrelated to warfare.

Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are the main destinations for refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war that started in March 2011. Jordan, the U.S. and Sunni Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia have recognized the main Syrian opposition.

Ensour said that 293,000 Syrian refugees are currently residing in Jordan, including 63,000 in camps, Bloomberg reports.