The United States and Morocco carried out major military maneuvers. The joint exercise, dubbed Lightning Handshake, took place in early March 2021 between the Canary Islands and Agadir. Spain was not notified.
Aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower, its 90 aircraft squadron and its maritime group took part. “By mistake”, US planes entered the Canary Islands airspace, owned by Spain. Also “by mistake”, the US staff omitted to inform the Spanish authorities of this deployment.
These maneuvers and the mistakes that accompanied them were interpreted as a threat against Spain after the Trump administration’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Spanish Sahara.