On Monday, June 20, the United States and Morocco kicked off the massive annual military exercise known as “African Lion.” This came at a time when tensions between the North African kingdom and its neighbouring Algeria were at an all-time high.
Around 7,500 personnel from ten different countries, including Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom, are participating in the exercise, which got underway in the Agadir region of southern Morocco.
According to Major General Andrew Rohling, Commander of the United States Army’s Southern European Task Force Africa, “It’s an exercise that we have been planning for the last year, since the execution of African Lion 21 last year. Our overall goal is to increase the cooperation between the countries of Africa, specifically West Africa, and strengthen our goals with Morocco.” This is an exercise that the United States Army has been planning for the last year.
There will be observers from NATO and, for the very first time, officials from the state of Israel. In a statement, the United States Africa Command said that some exercises would be held in Tunisia, Senegal, and Ghana.
“The second activity consists of aerial manoeuvres with Moroccan and US fighter jets, as well as live fire with attack helicopters. As a result, this aerial activity will be used for training aerial guidance officers.” Colonel Hicham el-Amrani, who is in charge of military operations in the Al Mahbes area, was quoted as saying that
According to the Moroccan military, the majority of the attacks are expected to take place in Kenitra, which is located close to Rabat. Other attacks are expected to take place further south, close to the Algerian border. The activity is scheduled to continue until the end of June at the earliest.