ABU DHABI (AA) – A 10-day joint military drill between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan concluded on Monday, the UAE’s official news agency (WAM) reported.
The UAE-hosted “Bonds of Strength” joint exercise, which began on June 20, aimed to “reinforce military cooperation between the UAE and Jordan, as well as integrate their planning and management of military operations, exchange expertise, and enhance the capabilities of their armed forces,” according to WAM.
The drill’s closing day was attended by UAE Head of the Operations Authority Maj. Gen. Iqab Shaheen and Director of Military Operations of the Jordanian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Taher Al Marashdeh and other senior officers, WAM reported.
The joint exercise, according to WAM, included urban warfare training as well as joint coastal defense and military exercises that saw the use of live ammunition beside medium and heavy weapons.
Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday witnessed the joint exercise in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received Abdullah and Crown Prince Al Hussein at the site of the military drill, according to a statement by Jordan’s Royal Court.
The joint exercise comes amid an unprecedented state of tension in the Mideast between Iran on the one hand and the U.S. and Gulf states led by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the other, since Tehran reduced some of its obligations under the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement.
Iran took the move this May, a year after the U.S. pulled out of the deal and imposed tough sanctions on Tehran to force it to renegotiate on its nuclear and missile programs.
In recent months, the region has witnessed an intensification of military exercises, notably two Egypt-hosted drills with the participation of Arab and U.S. forces, and the Saudi-hosted Al-Jazeera Shield Drill this February.