Special forces participate in response drill for chemical attack on refugee camp

On Monday, special forces from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with the U.S., began a test drill simulating chemical attacks on a tent city in the desert as part of Eager Lion, a 15-day multinational training exercise.

Dubbed "Fruitful Coordination," the operation involved land, air and sea maneuvers by the teams to simulate the response to a chemical attack on a refugee camp, the Jordan Times reports.

Chemical support teams and special forces dressed in protective gear pulled fictitious survivors and dead from the simulated contaminated area to decontamination stations. Refugees, as actors, started to vomit and shake following the simulated attack.

"We have factories in Jordan that use chemicals in their production, potentially triggering a similar emergency situation," Brigadier General Fahed Damen, the director of joint military training for Jordan's armed forces, said, adding that the exercise is not a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, according to the Jordan Times.

Victims of the simulated attack were given drugs as a temporary antidote to quell the immediate effects of nerve gas. Decontamination stations were set up to cleanse and assess residual chemical or biological substances, and a five-ton tank sprayed a chlorine-based bleach on the ground to neutralize the remaining chemical substances.

This year was the third time the exercise has been held in Jordan, bringing 12,000 personnel from 20 countries to train on terrorism and counterinsurgency, irregular warfare and border security, the Jordan Times reports.

Last year, the U.S. left a detachment of fighter jets and a Patriot missile battery in Jordan, along with 1,000 troops, leading many to speculate the country would get involved in the Syrian conflict. Major General Robert Catalanotti of U.S. Central Command said no equipment or forces would remain in the country this year.