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European troops are this week conducting air and ground exercises in southern France simulating an international defense of an oil-rich country under attack, officials said.
Some 3,000 soldiers from France, Belgium and Germany are taking part in the exercise, dubbed OAPEX 2005, which will test a scenario in which the European forces are flown in, with armored vehicles and a U.N. mandate, to battle a hypothetical enemy invading an oil-producing nation.
“The aim is to look at situations that already exist,” a French military spokesman, Lt.-Col. Jean-Luc Favre, told Agence France-Presse at an Air Force base in Toulouse.
He did not say what country the exercise was modeled on, explaining only that it was “a country which possesses oil fields and which is attacked by another country.”