The United States recently sent a small number of special forces soldiers to Jordan to train with counterparts from Iraq and Jordan, a new step in the Obama administration’s effort to help Baghdad stamp out a resurgent al Qaeda threat, a U.S. defense official said on Friday.

The U.S. contingent was dispatched to take part in a training exchange with counterterrorism forces from Iraq and Jordan, allowing the administration to provide a modest new measure of support to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

“The training will bolster skills in counterterrorism and special operations tactics, techniques and procedures,” a U.S. defense official said on condition of anonymity. […]