image Photo: IDF

IDF joins int’l drill in Morocco

This is the first time that the Israeli Defense Forces are taking an active part in the “African Lion 2023” exercise in the North African country.

By Erin Viner

A delegation of 12 troops and commanders of the IDF Golani Reconnaissance Battalion are participating in the training, led by the Israeli Ground Forces in Morocco.

The Israelis are among 18 countries and approximately 8,000 soldiers from the U.S. Armed Forces, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and the Ghana Armed Forces.

The training will include various combat challenges that combine urban warfare and underground warfare, culminating with the unified involvement of all participating militaries.

“The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen the relationship between the countries. Additionally, to create a mutual learning opportunity allowing the foreign armies to share knowledge,” said an IDF statement.

Morocco became the 6th Arab League nation to normalize relations with Israel on 22 December 2020, following similar pacts with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September and Sudan in October that same year. The first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel was Egypt in 1979, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1994.

Israel and Morocco signed a defense Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2021 that includes intelligence and cooperation in military industries and procurement. Morocco is interested in purchasing Israeli-made drones and other arms, Israeli media reported at the time.