The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan hosted an annual multinational war games exercise, the seventh of its kind, for troops from the US-led coalition member states fight against the Islamic State. This year’s military exercises, have been located in the country’s southern desert, some 280 kilometers south of Jordan’s capital Amman, and is designed to focus on facing irregular warfare, as well as terrorism and national security threats.
“Eager lion in really the keystone exercise for U.S. Central Command, partnering with a number of nations across the Central Command region, to demonstrate our ability to work together as a coalition.” / “These exercises are never easy for a lot of reasons, just because you come together and you build that relationship, then you have to go do a very complicated live-fire event like you just saw. It does not matter what is going on externally around you, these are hard and very dangerous and demanding, and you see how well the team pulled it off today. Just doing that is enough without any additional pressure,” said General Frank Donovan, (US) Deputy Commander for Eager Lion Exercise.
Jordan is among the few Arab states that have taken an active role in the US-led air campaign against the Islamic State in both its northern neighbor Syria and its eastern neighbor Iraq. Even though the exercise comes at a time of tension on both the northern and eastern fronts of Jordan, commander of the military exercise, Brigadier General Khaled Sharea reassured Jordan’s neighbors that the multinational exercise did not pose a threat to any Arab country, but rather was an annual event to bolster the cooperation of the anti-Islamic State coalition.
“The Eager Lion exercise is not directed at any Arab or regional country, this is an annual exercise, held for the seventh year in Jordan. This is a message to all, we have no goals in Syria or any Arab country,” said Brig. General Khaled Sharea, (Jordan) Commander of Eager Lion Exercise.