Morocco is planning to build a new military zone for the Royal Armed Forces, near the city of Al Hoceima in the north of the country, local sources revealed.
According to Al-Ayam newspaper, the third military base, on which construction is expected to begin in the next few days, comes a few months after the establishment of a military zone east of the kingdom to host “air defence units, as well as air defence systems.”
According to the paper, the base will be used for air defence systems purchased from China, Patriot 3 systems purchased from the United States, and air defence systems purchased from Israel following the recent visit of Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to the kingdom.
In February, Morocco established a military zone in the east of the country, near the border with Algeria, as reported by the Royal Armed Forces magazine at the time.
This comes in light of escalating tension in relations with neighbouring Algeria, which, weeks ago, held military exercises with Russia near its border with Morocco.
The plan also comes after a diplomatic crisis erupted with Tunisia over hosting the Polisario Front leader at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) summit held in Tunis.
Morocco and Algeria are at odds over the Western Sahara region which Rabat says is part of its territory while Algeria supports the Sahrawi people’s demands for self-determination.