FILE- Egypt's air forces take on a full-scale offensive against militants in North and Central Sinai on Friday, February 9,2018- Phoro courtesy of the Armed Forces Spokesperson's Facebook page
CAIRO - 10 January 2020: Egypt’s Armed Forces are conducting military exercises titled “Qader 2020” in strategic positions nationwide, said Egyptian Ministry of Defense in a statement on Friday.
The armed forces will conclude the final stage of the exercises in the coming few days, the statement said, adding that ground, navy and air forces, along with special forces of thunderbolt and parachuting units, participated in the maneuvers.
The drills are being conducted in all the state’s strategic areas and along the coasts of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, aiming at training the forces to launch simultaneous military operations on all fronts, the statement noted.
It has been scheduled that a number of shootings with live ammunition will be carried out by air, naval and ground forces to show their abilities of protecting the state’s national interests against enemies on all levels.
“The maneuver (Qadir 2020) emphasizes the strength and readiness of the Armed Forces to protect the capabilities and wealth of the country, as the armed forces’ fighting capabilities have witnessed a remarkable development over the past five years,” the statement read.
Last week, the Egyptian naval forces conducted a large-scale amphibious exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, amid escalating tensions in the region after Turkey’s parliament agreed to send military troops to Libya.
They used French-manufactured Mistral class helicopter carrier, which is known as ENS Gamal Abdel Nasser, Gowind-class corvettes, Perry-class frigates, and 209-class diesel-electric attack submarine.
On January 2, 2020, the Turkish Parliament voted or Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposal to send Turkish troops to Libya after Erdogan and head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj reached a deal in February 2019 on drawing maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea- one of the largest natural gas resources in the region- and on enhancing military cooperation.
The deal provoked anger in Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, which voiced their rejection of the deal as it contradicts with the international agreements.
Meanwhile, the Libyan Parliament held an emergency session, in which it voted on a bundle of decisions, including the rejection of the deals inked between Sarraj and Turkey.
The parliament voted unanimously on authorizing Haftar to disable airports, ports, and land gates that are controlled by the militias.
It further agreed to address the UN Security Council, the League of Arab States, the African Union, the European Union and other international organizations to withdraw the recognition of the GNA.