The operation left no victims or damages
Spanish troops landed on the Perejil island, earlier captured by Morocco servicemen, and took control of the island. EFE, a Spanish agency, informs that no incidents have been registered in the operation. The soldiers, 12 people in number, offered no resistance.
It is very likely that nobody expected that the Spanish government would be so resolute. Yesterday, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar announced that Spain hoped to settle the conflict regarding the Pehejil island diplomatically. However, Madrid kept on increasing its naval prescence near the island’s shores, and five warships were near the island by Wednesday morning.
The Spanish ambassador was recalled from Morocco early today. To all appearances, having enlisted support from NATO and the European Union, the Spanish government decided to conduct a military operation. Morocco, in its turn, hopes to get support from the League of Arab states, whose representatives have already stated the legitimacy of Rabat’s claims to the island. What will be the consequences of today’s operation held by the Spanish army? It is more likely that there will be none at all. The Morocco government managed to define its claims to the island rather loudly when it drew attention of the world media to the territorial dispute with Spain for several days. As of now, noting more is required. The possibility of a war conflict should not be seriously considered, because the odds are evidently in Spain’s favor. And what is more, NATO and the European Union will hardly allow the situation develop like this. However, this does not mean at all that the conflict will be immediately forgotten. The territorial dispute is still urgent for both parties. Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/17/44277.html