The deal worth millions is set to bring the two countries closer and marks another step in the growing international market for Turkish drones.

Moroccan media outlets close to the government have reported that the country is set to acquire 13 Turkish made Bayraktar TB2 drones in a bid to boost the effectiveness of its armed forces.

The sale is expected to be to the tune of $70 million and would see Morocco also receive four driving ground stations, which will help operate the drones.

The demand for Turkish drones has been on the increase since they proved themselves capable in combat operations in Syria, Northern Iraq, Libya and most recently in Azerbaijan, where they could decisively change the battlefield outcome in favour of Baku.

Turkey is one of a handful of countries that has mastered drone technology by succeeding in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and the "sophisticated technology" that can target and kill, says Assistant Professor Merve Seren from Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, an expert on Turkey's drone capabilities.

"Turkey has entered into the global drone market, so countries are looking at each other's procurement choices. Since Turkey has started to sell its drones, it's becoming increasingly more attractive for others," says Seren speaking to TRT World.

In addition to their effectiveness, "Turkey's drones are cheaper when compared to the US," says Seren adding that "Turkey's foreign military sales procedures are also less complicated and restrictive than the US and Israel."

Morocco is already using American and Israeli drones against the Polisario Front, a renegade militia group fighting for a separate state in the south of the country in a region that is also sometimes known as Western Sahara.

The Moroccan government claims sovereignty over Western Sahara, something militant separatist groups like the Polisario Front reject and have been fighting for decades against.

In addition to the acquisition of Turkish drones being easier and faster to purchase, it will also likely to strengthen ties between Rabat and Ankara, says Seren.

"Morocco is a Muslim country and has better relations with Turkey in comparison to others. So political relations are also decisive in procurement options," she said.

When contacted for comment, the Turkish drone company Bayraktar TB2 did not deny the sale but said they "cannot confirm" the news.

Turkish drone sales to Morocco are unlikely to impact the balance of power with Algeria, another country Turkey has been strengthening ties within recent years.

Much to Morocco's chagrin, Algeria backs the Polisario Front, resulting in a deep freeze in relations between the two neighbours.

Morocco recently killed a senior Polisario military figure who entered an area walled up with a berm, using drones.

In the 1980s, the Moroccan state built a 2,700km wall of sand to keep the Polisario Front.

In 2019, Ukraine, a country mired in a low-level conflict with Russian backed militias in the east of the country purchased 12 Bayraktar drones. Ukraine has expressed its willingness to buy more drones in recent months in particular, as the conflict with Russian backed forces heats up.

Qatar and Azerbaijan have also purchased Turkish drones, with many other countries expressing an interest in the technology.

Turkish drones have become one of the most successful and indigenously developed parts of the country's defence sector.

The country's political and defence establishment has over several decades prioritised indigenous technological development of the country's arms industry to ensure that Turkey can defend its interests in the region.

Source: TRT World