Int’l military drill not related to Syria unrest — military
by Raed Omari |
AMMAN — The multinational joint military exercise “Eager Lion 2012”, which commenced on May 7, does not aim at delivering a message to the Syrian regime, Jordanian and US senior officers said on Tuesday.
Jordan Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Awni Al Adwan, operations and training chief of staff, underlined that the military drill, which includes 19 countries, is not meant in any way to deliver a message to any of the neighbouring countries, including Syria.
Speaking at a joint press conference with US Army Maj. Gen. Ken Tovo, Combined Joint Task Force Spartan commanding general, Adwan added that the exercise is taking place in the southern region of the Kingdom and not in the northern region near Syria.
“Eager Lion 2012 has nothing to do with what is going on in Syria,” Adwan said, adding that “preparations for the military exercise started three years before the start of the Arab Spring”.
He noted that traditional weapons are being used in exercise Eager Lion 2012, adding that Israel is not participating in the military drill which, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, started on May 7 and continues until May 30.
Tovo also stressed that Eager Lion has nothing to do with regional developments, adding that the military exercise aims at boosting cooperation among the participating states and enhancing the readiness of their troops.
According to a Combined Joint Task Force Spartan statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times on Tuesday, exercise Eager Lion is part of a long history of multilateral military exercises in Jordan which includes troops from five different continents and more than 12,000 participants.
“The focus of Eager Lion is to strengthen military-to-military relationships of participating partner nations through a joint, whole-of-government, multinational approach, integrating all instruments of national power to meet current and future complex national security challenges,” the statement said.
In addition to Jordan and the US, troops from Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, France, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Slovenia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and Pakistan, among others, are also participating in the military exercise.