Operation Falkland Islands Invasion II as tensions hit fever pitch

Operation Falkland Islands Invasion II as tensions hit fever pitch

BRITISH forces used live ammunition and bombs in a simulation of sudden conflict with Argentina in the Falklands, as tensions continue to escalate between London and Buenos Aires.

Troops of the Grenadier and Scots Guards joined RAF Typhoons and HMS Forth to successfully retake occupied territory following hit-and- run attacks by “Argentine special forces” during the two-day exercise this month. Exercise Cape Bayonet saw soldiers and dogs carried to parts of the islands by RAF Chinook helicopters to seek out embedded defenders.

The large-scale exercise was intended to showcase how forces attached to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands – responsible for defending 800 British islands in the region – can integrate with the recently boosted Falkland Islands Defence Force.

This includes use of the new patrol vessel HMS Forth, which has a mess for 51 troops and can take another 50 soldiers or Royal Marines on camp beds.

A Whitehall source said: “We’ve had a plan to deal with a hit-and-run attack by a special forces unit of up to 100 soldiers for some time.”

Former Army officer Justin Crump, chief executive of risk management group Sibylline, said: “While full-scale military action is more or less inconceivable, symbolic action by Argentine special forces remains a viable option for Buenos Aires to shore up domestic support, despite the risk of diplomatic consequence.”

With inflation at 34 percent and a quarter of people using food banks, economic conditions in Argentina are as dire today as when General Galtieri ordered a military invasion of the islands in 1982.

But Buenos Aires has a different prize in mind – 60 billion barrels of oil estimated to lay in British waters.

The election of President Alberto Fernández in 2019 has led to a resurgence in territorial claims.

“With unrest likely in coming months, it is possible President Fernández might welcome the symbolic gesture a special forces raid would represent,” said Mr Crump.

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