The Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), Lieutenant General Abdelfattah Louarak, who is on a visit to the United States at the head of a large delegation of senior officers, held talks with Pentagon officials Tuesday, reports Al Massae daily this Wednesday (April 18).
According to the daily, talks focused on the delivery to the Moroccan army of new combat aircraft, the F-16 Viper Block 70.
The Moroccan-US talks took place a day following the launch Monday of the 2018 edition of the two countries’ annual military games, African Lion, held in the regions of Agadir, Tifnit, Tan-Tan, Tiznit, Ben Guérir and Kenitra.
The military drills bring together military units and observers from 16 countries, and involve various types of training, including a Combined Joint Task Force Command Post Exercise.
The drills also feature Senior Leader Dialogue focused on counter-violent extremist organizations (VEOs), maritime/land/air border security challenges, transnational threats and regional cooperation, and cyber security and defense.
Lieutenant General Abdelfattah Louarak’s visit to the USA is also taking place amidst tension in the buffer zone of the Moroccan Sahara because of the repeated incursions of the Algeria-backed Polisario militias in this area.
While Morocco is discussing the purchase of the F-16 aircraft Algiers has just given the Polisario ground-to-air missiles purchased on the black market.
According to Assabah, another Moroccan daily, the F-16s seem to terrify Morocco’s eastern neighbors, so much so that Algiers has been quick to buy, for the benefit of the Polisario, a whole range of ground-to-air and anti-aircraft missiles.
According to information gathered by Assabah, Algeria has signed a secret agreement with Venezuela to deliver to the Polisario Russia-made anti-tank Kornet missiles.
Assabah added that the 60 Polisario soldiers (and not 30 as officially announced) who perished in the recent crash of the Algerian military aircraft after take-off from Boufarik base had just completed their training on the use of the Russian weaponry provided by Venezuela.
The department of General Ahmed Gaïd Salah, Algerian Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff, resorted to the back market to acquire the surface-to-air missiles provided to the Polisario, Assabah stated, noting that the surface-to-air missiles, called Igla S, can be borne on the shoulder and are very popular with terrorist groups.