Amid heightened tensions between Jordan and Israel, the Jordanian Army conducted defensive maneuvers this week simulating an attempted invasion of the kingdom.
According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the drills appear to be a message addressed to Israel.
“On November 25, 2019,” the report says, “the Jordanian Army conducted military maneuvers named ‘Swords of Karameh,’ named for Israel’s 1968 military operation against Fatah that took place near the village of Karameh, and in which the Jordanian Army fought alongside Fatah. The maneuvers took place in the presence of King Abdullah II and appear to be a message addressed to Israel.
“The official Jordanian news agency Petra and the Jordanian press reported that the maneuvers simulated a defensive battle aimed at stopping an invasion of the country, and that they involved the use of many tanks, planes, and helicopters and a great number of weapons with the aim of ‘destroying the vanguard of the enemy and the bridges that can be used as crossing points’ into Jordanian territory.
“It should be noted that the official Jordanian reports did not explicitly state that the maneuvers simulated a battle with Israel. However, this can be understood from their name, which hints at the Battle of Karameh, and because the maneuvers simulated an enemy army invasion via bridges – that is, bridges over the Jordan River that forms the border between the two countries. Additionally, the division that carried out the maneuvers is part of Jordan’s Central Command.
“Furthermore, one photo of the maneuvers published in the Jordanian media showed King Abdullah standing with army commanders in front of a model of Jordan’s western border and the Dead Sea area. Also, an article published by a local Jordanian website stated explicitly that the maneuvers simulated a battle with ‘the occupying entity across the river’ – that is, Israel.”