Sunday, February 14, 2016

Malaysia joins 19 countries in major military manoeuvre in Saudi Arabia

Armed forces from around 20 countries gathered in northern Saudi Arabia yesterday for "the most important" military manoeuvre ever staged in the region, the official news agency SPA reported. The "Thunder of the North" exercise involving ground, air, and naval forces sent a "clear message" that Riyadh and its allies "stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region", SPA said. Saudi Arabia is currently leading a military campaign against Iran-backed rebels in its southern neighbour Yemen. Last December, it also formed a new 35-member coalition to fight "terrorism" in Islamic countries. The announcement also comes as the kingdom, a member of the United States-led coalition targeting the jihadist Islamic State of Syria and Iraq group, said it has deployed warplanes to a Turkish air base in order to intensify its operations against Isis in Syria. SPA did not specify when the military exercise would begin or how long it would last. However, the agency called it the "most important and largest in the region's history" in terms of the number of nations taking part and the weaponry being used. Twenty countries wiould be taking take part, SPA said. Among them are Saudi Arabia's five partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Chad, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal and Tunisia. – AFP, February 15, 2016.]]>

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