Israeli soldiers to join Moroccan war games for first time

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Israeli soldiers will for the first time take part in military exercises in Morocco when the biggest war games event in Africa kicks off Tuesday, the Israeli army said.

“This is the first time that the IDF is taking an active part in the ‘African Lion’ international exercise,” said a statement from the Israeli army late Monday.

“A delegation of 12 soldiers and commanders from the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion” — an elite infantry unit — has been sent to participate alongside some 8,000 soldiers from 18 countries.

The event — now in its 19th edition — is organized by Morocco and the United States.

“During the next two weeks, the soldiers will focus on training in various combat challenges that combine urban warfare and underground warfare, in which they will conclude in a common exercise for all participating armies,” read the Israeli statement.

Israel participated in the event last year, however only as international military observers, without soldiers taking part on the ground.

According to the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the war games include exercises in operational planning and fighting weapons of mass destruction, tactical land, sea, air and special forces training, as well as airborne operations.

Morocco and Israel have been working to boost cooperation in the military, security, trade and tourism fields since they normalized ties in December 2020.

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