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Morocco establishes military zone near border with Algeria

A picture taken from the Moroccan region of Oujda shows Algerian border guards patrolling along the border with Morocco on November 4, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken from the Moroccan region of Oujda shows Algerian border guards patrolling along the border with Morocco on November 4, 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

Morocco has established a new military zone in the east of the country, near the border with Algeria, the Royal Armed Forces' magazine said in its February issue.

The magazine said General Belkheir Al-Farouq, Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces and Commander of the Southern Region in Rashidiya, presided over the inauguration of Major General Muhammad Miqdad as commander of the new military zone.

The military zone aims "to ensure consistency of the command, control and support among the Moroccan forces and to offer further flexibility and freedom of action when necessary."

Miqdad has held several important military posts within the army, including Commander of the Draa Valley Military Sector.

The establishment of the new military zone comes amid increased diplomatic tension with Algeria.

In August, Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Morocco, citing "a series of hostile attitudes and trends," which Rabat described as "false and absurd".

Later in September 2021, Algeria announced the closure of its airspace to Moroccan civil and military aircraft.

Moroccan-Algerian ties have been tense for decades against the backdrop of the dispute in the Western Sahara region between Rabat and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

READ: Algeria accuses Morocco, Israel of funding French series defaming the country

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