The Lebanese Army and troops from the French Navy held joint military maneuvers on Friday opposite the Maameltein beach, upon the request of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the French Embassy in Lebanon.The maneuver included participants from the Lebanese Air Force, the Navy, Navy Seals, the Airborne Regiment and the First Armored Regiment, in addition to members of the French Navy.
The soldiers used warships – including French ship “Foudre” – and helicopters to conduct the exercise, which was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the Lebanese Army.
The drill consisted of successfully seizing members of a fictional terrorist group who had taken over the Beirut Tripoli international road and were looking to destabilize internal security.
The supposed terrorists were based in Adma and had spread across the shore, and the army worked on surrounding them on the Maameltein Bridge.
Gazelle helicopters inspected the beach and used fire to secure a safe landing for the Airborne Regiment, which was led by Lieutenant Khaled Abbas.
The helicopters got closer to the Maameltein Bridge as warships drew nearer to the beach, and the planes were also used to facilitate the air drop of Navy Seals. The latter set off several explosions in the sea to hinder the terrorists’ movements.
The army forces finally succeeded in surrounding the terrorists on the bridge, thus concluding their exercise.
The army issued a statement later in the day, in which it said several Lebanese and French figures attended the maneuvers. Among them were Major General Shawqi al-Masri, representing Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji, French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton, and French Military Attaché in Lebanon Colonel Philippe Petrel.
“Masri and Pietton both praised the good collaboration between the two navy forces and the excellent performance of the participants,” the statement said.
source: The Daily Star