American magazine Forbes enflamed the situation between neigbouring Morocco and Algeria in an article titled “Morocco Procured Israeli and Turkish Weapons That Enabled Azerbaijan to Prevail Over Armenia.”, reports H24 Info, September 25.
The article mostly talks about the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan but links the situation to the potential conflict with the two North African countries’ dispute over the territory of the Western Sahara.
The author of the September 21 article, Paul Iddon, talks in detail about Morocco’s acquisition of Israeli and Turkish military equipment noting, “The North African country perhaps hopes that these weapons will allow it to impose itself in the same way in a possible confrontation with Algeria over Western Sahara”.
Mr Iddon describes himself as a journalist/columnist who has an interest in writing about Middle East military and political affairs on his Twitter (now known as X) account.
Clashes broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces on September 19 and 20 as Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military offensive against the state of Artsakh. The offensive took place in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognised part of Azerbaijan however it is populated with a strong Armenian community.
The Azerbaijanis came out triumphant in the conflict as the American business magazine pointed out that the fighting, “has once again demonstrated how Azerbaijan is using Israeli-supplied high-tech weaponry to its advantage.”
A sizeable number of Moroccans are alarmed at the government in Rabat’s normalisation of ties with Israel. This comes as no surprise as many in the Middle East and North African region stand in solidarity with Palestine as it continues to be occupied by an increasingly authoritarian regime. Many in those regions also view Israel as a pariah state.
The article went on about the North African country receiving Israeli weapons in 2022, “Rabat recently received its first delivery of Israeli Barak MX systems that it ordered as part of a $500 million deal in 2022,”.
Iddon added that Morocco could use a similar tactic to the Azerbaijanis and is convinced that a conflict between the two Maghreb could break out soon, “If this happens and leads to clashes between Morocco and Algeria, Rabat could count on imitating Azerbaijan’s combined approach by using these same advanced systems for defensive and offensive purposes.”
The ongoing Western Saharan conflict has taken place since 1970 and former US President Donald Trump’s administration agreed to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territory as part of Israel- Morocco deal in 2020.