21 countries in Thunder of the North drill in Saudi Arabia

International war games to raise combat readiness, boost coordination

Image Credit: Reuters
Helicopters and boats are seen during a military drill by members of the Saudi security forces, in Jeddah in this May 27, 2014 picture.
Gulf News

Manama: A major military drill prepared by Saudi Arabia is a clear message that any hostile action or intention in the region will be tackled decisively, experts have said.

Saudi media said that the war manoeuvres, code namedcode named Northern Thunder, would be held in the northern region of the kingdom and that several countries would join.

Brigadier Ahmad Asiri, the spokesperson for the Arab Coalition fighting to restore the rule of the internationally recognised government in Yemen, said that 21 countries would be participating in the Northern Thunder drill.

“There will be 21 Arab and Muslim countries taking part in huge drills,” Assiri told London-based newspaper Al Sharq Al Awsat. “It will serve to boost fighting capabilities, exchange information, benefit from experiences and expertise and enhance coordination between the participating countries. There will be joint military command centres,” he said.

Assiri added that “when participating countries feel that there are coordinated and interdependent efforts, the results of the exercise will be positive. We have models based on real experience of being in the Arab coalition in Yemen where operations are running excellently and positively,” he was quoted by the daily as saying.

Asiri said that Saudi Arabia worked within military coalitions and that it was ready for a land war whenever the international coalition wants to launch ground operations.

Saudi Arabia has a strong desire to defeat terror groups, he said, adding that no country in the region was targeted by the Daesh terror group like the Saudi kingdom where it attacked mosques, security men and the northern border.

Several Arab ambassadors said that the participation of their countries in the “Northern Thunder” will focus on the ground troops and will boost combat readiness and coordination.

“The initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to launch the Northern Thunder drills is one of his numerous initiatives to preserve security and stability in the region,” Jamal Al Shamayla, the Jordan ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said. “Jordan, led by His Majesty King Abdallah, will always and forever be with Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, through consultations and coordination towards all issues of common interest. Jordan is absolutely keen on Arab security, particularly during these times dominated by chaos resulting from terrorism,” he said.

Arab efforts should be conjugated to eradicate terrorism and the participation of Jordan in the military drills is in the framework of its solidarity with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf, Arab and Muslim states, he added.

Abdul Hafedh Ebrahim, Sudan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said his country fully supported Saudi Arabia.

“Sudan’s participation in the drills is based on the significance of joint work to ensure security and peace in the region,” he said, quoted by Al Sharq Al Awsat.

The Egyptian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Nasser Hamdy said that his country’s participation was within the strategic cooperation between the two countries.

“The number of participants from Egypt will be 350, and the focus will be on ground operations,” he said.

Loading...