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DECEMBER 2021

Remains Of Turkish Laser-Guided Munition Found In Disputed Western Sahara (Photos)

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Remains Of Turkish Laser-Guided Munition Found In Disputed Western Sahara (Photos)

File image.

On November 20, activists from the disputed Western Sahara region shared photos showing the remains of a Turkish-made MAM-L munition.

The MAM-L, which was developed by defense giant Roketsan, is a light-weight munition guided by semi-active laser. The munition has a range of 8 to 14 kilometers.

According to Western Sahara activists, the munition was fired by one of Morocco’s newly-acquired Bayraktar TB2 combat drones. The Kingdom ordered 13 drones of this type from Turkey earlier this year. The first batch was delivered in September.

Earlier this month, Algeria officially held Morocco responsible for the November 1 strike on Western Sahara which claimed the lives of three of its citizens. In a statement, the Algerian Presidency described the unpresented incident as a “cowardly murder with sophisticated weaponry,” and vowed to respond.

Algerian sources said that the strike was carried out by Bayraktar TB2 combat drone of the Royal Moroccan Air Force. The drone allegedly took off from an air base near the Moroccan-controlled city of Samara in the Western Sahara.

The MAM-L remains found in Western Sahara were from the scene of a more recent strike. Sources in the region reported several Moroccan drone strikes in the last few days.

The most notable of these strikes targeted the area of Mijek on November 15. According to the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which has been fighting for the independence of Western Sahara since the 1970s, the strike killed 12 civilians.

The recent strikes confirm that Morocco didn’t purchase combat drones from Turkey just to monitor the Polisario-held part of Western Sahara, but to actually carry out strikes with them on a regular basis.

Recent reports revealed that the Kingdom is also planning to acquire more advance offensive and defensive weapons from Israel. This suggests that a military confrontation in Western Sahara is nearing.

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