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1000s march against NATO war games in Italy, Spain

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Thousands of protesters take part in an anti-NATO protest in Naples, Italy on October 24, 2015.

Thousands of anti-war protesters in Italy and Spain have taken to streets to express opposition to war games conducted in their respective countries by the US-led NATO military alliance.

The demonstrators carried banners and chanted anti-NATO and anti-US slogans during their protest in the southern Italian city of Naples and Spain’s capital Madrid, insisting that the aim of ongoing military drills – dubbed ‘Trident Juncture 2015’ -- is to prepare for new aggression on the horizon.

According to press reports, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization embarked on a major military exercise on September 28 in bases in Spain, southern Italy, as well as Portugal involving 36,000 air, land, and marine troops from over 40 countries and organizations. The war games – the NATO’s largest in the past 13 years -- is set to continue until November 6.

The anti-war activists in Naples marched through the main streets of the city carrying placards that read in part "NATO must dissolve" and "Smash NATO." 

An anti-NATO rally in Spain (file photo)

Meanwhile, the protesters in Madrid marched through the center of the city to censure the massive military drills that is currently underway in Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Organized by the Global Platform Against Wars, the protesters marched from Callao Square to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, waving anti-war banners and chanting slogans such as "No to NATO, bases out", "Imperialism is terrorism", and "Yankees go home."

The anti-NATO protest efforts come as the military alliance has drastically expanded its war games in eastern European countries neighboring Russia, in what Moscow has censured as provocations over the persisting Ukraine conflict in a bid to expand military presence near Russia. 

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