Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has called for a mandatory military service for all young men to help in the fight “against the enemies of religion and the nation.”

“We must pay special attention to young men and prepare them for the compulsory military service,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah said.

“Should the nation choose such a path, our young people will be qualified to carry out the tasks and defend their religion and nation. We will be permanently ready to confront enemies,” the grand mufti said in his Friday sermon in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Shaikh Abdul Aziz said that the military mobilization of young Saudis was “a way to thank God for His blessings bestowed on the nation.”

“We do enjoy the blessings of security and stability, and we should be thankful to God by being permanently ready to defend our religion and nation. Our enemies want to corrupt our religion, morals and economy. They want to undermine our unity. Therefore, we should prepare our young men militarily, intellectually and educationally,” he said.

A well trained force will help the country become endowed with greater power, making military service for young people a necessity, he said.

The mufti issued his call two weeks after Saudi Arabia led a coalition of several countries in military operations to restore legitimacy in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is also an active member of an international coalition targeting Daesh groups in Syria and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia, like the fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, does not currently have a compulsory military service for its citizens.

However, Kuwait is making moves to reinstate the obligatory military service suspended by the parliament in 2001 upon a suggestion by the government.