The drill, dubbed “Al-Samsam 5,” comes as “an extension of a series of joint exercises between Saudi ground forces and a group of forces from friendly countries, including Pakistan,” Drill Director Shaeh bin Abdullah al-Qarni said, during a speech delivered at a ceremony marking the occasion.
“The exercise will focus on the war in difficult mountainous terrain environments and irregular operations,” al-Qarni added, noting that “participants in the exercise include the Royal Saudi Air Forces, Land Forces Aviation, and units of the Border Guards.”
Commander of the Taif Military Region Faris bin Abdullah al-Omari, for his part, said the exercise had been “prepared in advance and programmed within the range of strategic plans for training and the development of the efficiency of Saudi Forces,” SPA reported.
Al-Omari also noted that the exercise “has nothing to do with any current military operations, but it is a complement to raise the level of performance and effectiveness of the military forces”.
For his part, Jaweed Iqbal, the oldest Officer in Pakistan's Armed Forces, said the exercise was aimed at “exchanging experience and raising the level of efficiency and performance in the military forces of both countries.”
Iqbal also noted that Pakistan maintained “close military ties with Saudi Arabia” and that the Pakistani Army regularly "exchanges experiences with military forces in the Saudi Kingdom.”
The Pakistani Officer pointed out that “the biggest proof of that close Saudi-Pakistani ties is that the “Al-Samsam” exercises have continued for more than ten years.”
SPA did not reveal the number of troops - from either side - participating in the Saudi-Pakistani army drill.
Pakistan has not decided yet whether to participate in the ongoing Saudi-led military operation in Yemen.
Source: SPA, The Nation