The British Army is to deploy 1,600 troops to Jordan to take part in war games which could be preparation for a potential ‘confrontation’ between Russia and NATO member countries in Eastern Europe.
Army sources told the Daily Telegraph that the drill dubbed Shamal Storm, will simulate an Iraq invasion for the first time in over a decade, but is not a prelude to sending ground troops to fight ISIS, but rather it could be seen as a dry run for one day having to deal with a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine or Eastern Europe.
A source said: “This isn’t a counter-Isil exercise. If anything, this is much more about us being prepared to join the US in Ukraine than it is in Syria.
Over 300 military vehicles are being shipped to Jordan, where logistics, medical, intelligence and bomb disposal experts will practise supporting a massive British military expedition.
The aim of the exercise is to show, despite defense cuts, that the British Army would still be able to deploy a 30,000-strong force, which would include troops and military hardware, to any potential global hotspot.
In January, around 80 military vehicles were sent from the UK, bound for the Jordanian port of Aqaba. More than 300 will be used in total. The exercise will be held in the southwestern desert area of the country, while troops from three UK divisions will be taking part.
The operation will look to simulate “theater entry tactics,” while also setting up a field hospital and dealing with chemical and biological weapons. It will be the biggest operation since 2001, when the British Army held a large-scale drill in 2001 called Saif Sereea in Oman.
A spokesman for the British Army told the Daily Telegraph: “The exercise will test key evolving concepts such as the air deployment of a very high readiness field hospital and the latest explosives ordnance disposal and search capabilities, all of which will enable us to be more agile in deterring threats to the UK and its interests.”
The Russian government has on numerous occasions accused the West of scaremongering. In July, President Vladimir Putin told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that a potential Russian attack on NATO would be “insane,” adding that the alliance’s defense budget is 10 times that of Moscow’s.
“I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO. I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia. They just want to play the role of front-line countries that should receive some supplementary military, economic, financial or some other aid,” Putin said.
Putin stated that hypothetically the US may be looking to maintain a hypothetical external threat in order to maintain its leadership of the NATO community.