AL-KUFRIN, JORDAN — November 30, 2019 — On November 25, 2019, the Jordanian Army conducted military maneuvers named “Swords of Karama,” named for Israel’s 1968 military operation against Fatah that took place near the village of Karama, 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 Karama, 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.
This report will present details and photos of the November 25, 2019 Swords of Karama military maneuvers in Jordan:
Defensive Maneuvers Simulating an Invasion of Jordan
According to a report by the official Jordanian news agency Petra, King Abdullah observed the tactical military maneuvers by the Royal Guard 1st Mechanized Battalion of the Jordanian Central Command that took place on designated training grounds. The report stated that the maneuvers simulated a defensive battle, with the participation of various corps, fighter planes, and helicopters, “with the aim of destroying the vanguard of the enemy and the bridges that can be used as crossing points” into Jordanian territory. Also according to the report, the forces used all types of light and medium weapons as well as anti-tank weapons and explosives, and the tanks fired their guns both when stationary and in motion.
Also attending the maneuvers, in addition to the King, was a lineup of senior Jordanian officials: Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, the director of the Royal Court, several government ministers, and members of the upper and lower houses of the Jordanian parliament. Also present were university heads and students, army veterans, and military attaches from several unidentified countries.
The following are photos from the maneuvers:
Center: King Abdullah II
Center: King Abdullah II