Twenty Nations Start Largest Military Drills in Saudi Arabia

Agence France Presse (AFP) Saudi Press Agency (SPA)03.03.2016 KSA
Twenty Nations Start Largest Military Drills in Saudi Arabia

Twenty Nations Start Largest Military Drills in Saudi Arabia

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Armed forces from 20 countries have begun man oeuvres in northeastern Saudi Arabia that the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has described as one of the world’s biggest military exercises.

Troops from Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan are among those participating in the “Thunder of the North” exercise, which began on Saturday and involves ground, air and naval forces, SPA reported.

Forces from the other five Gulf Arab states are also taking part in “one of the world’s most important military exercises based on the number of forces participating and the area of territory used,” the news agency added.

“Thunder of the North” exercise aims to bolster ground, air and naval coordination against threat of terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, four Saudi fighter jets with their crews and all equipments arrived at the Incirlik air base in Turkey last Friday, SPA reported.

This deployment came in line with the direction of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to expand its air operations against the sites of the terrorist organization Daesh in Syria and as part of the international coalition operations against Daesh. 

Saudi Arabia has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria as part of a US-led coalition fighting the group.

Last December, it also formed a new 35-member alliance to fight terrorism in Islamic countries.

Since March last year, it has been leading a military campaign against Iran-backed rebels in its southern neighbor Yemen.

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