‘Eager Lion 2012’
“is the largest exercise held in the region in the past ten years,” Major General Ken Tovo, head of the US Special Operations
Forces, told reporters in Amman.
“Yesterday we began to apply
the skills that we have developed over the last weeks in an irregular
warfare scenario … They will last for approximately the coming two
weeks,” he added.
“The message that I want to send through this
exercise is that we have developed the right partners throughout the
region and across the world … insuring that we have the ability to …
meet challenges that are coming to our nations,” Tovo said.
12,000 soldiers are taking part in the war games, representing 19
countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia,
Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
army operations and training chief Major General Awni Adwan said the
military exercise “has been in the planning phase for the past three
“No forces will be deployed north … the exercise is not
connected to any real world event,” Adwan said when asked if the war
games were related to the ongoing violence in Jordan’s northern neighbor
“This has nothing to do with Syria. We respect the
sovereignty of Syria. There is no tension between the Syrians and us.
Our objectives are clear,” Adwan said.
Israel — despite having
extensive security agreements with Jordan — was not invited to
participate in the exercises. Several Arab nations participating in the
drill are still formally at war with the Jewish state.
Washington has granted Amman $2.4 billion in military and economic aid in the past five years, according to official figures
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