US-led war games in North Africa have provoked controversy after Morocco, one of the hosting countries, said some drills would be held in Western Sahara, a territory it claims to rule. The US has backed Morocco’s claims, but contradicted Rabat’s statement about the drills being held there.
During the massive “African Lion” war games in Morocco, the US-led international force practiced attacking Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defense systems. Washington has objected to the S-400’s proliferation around the globe, sanctioning multiple nations for buying them, including its ally Turkey, and it’s possible Algeria has obtained them as well.
Mention of the drill involving simulated strikes against S-400s was made in a June 9 Command Post exercise in Agadir, Morocco, footage of which was posted by the Pentagon as a B-roll video on its DVIDS media hosting site.
The drill was carried out by Southern European Task Force-Africa, a US Army formation that replaced US Army Africa after it was remarried with US Army Europe in November 2020. It’s never stated which weapons were used for the strike, but it’s likely to have been M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), which feature in other media posted from the drills.
The War Zone notes that it’s not clear if Morocco’s neighbor and regional rival of Algeria has obtained S-400 systems, meaning the exercise isn’t necessarily aimed at Algiers’ military. It does have the…