EYE ON RUSSIANS: Saudi Arabia embarks on massive military drill with 2,500 warplanes and 20,000 tanks
Saudi Arabia has commenced a massive military drill in which 20 nations are participating. The move comes amid ongoing deadly conflicts in the Middle East.
More than 2,500 warplanes, 20,000 tanks and 450 helicopters will be part of the exercise. Riyadh has billed the manoeuvre as “the largest and most important” drill ever staged in the region.
Up to 350,000 troops from various Gulf nations, and other allies such as Pakistan, Jordan, Chad and Sudan will take part in the drill, the Saudi Press Agency said. The exercises would involve ground, naval and air forces personnel.
Termed “The Northern Thunder”, the drill will continue for 18 days. The aim of the exercise is to send the message that Saudi Arabia and its allies “stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region”. Neither the US nor any Western nation is part of the event.
“It will serve to boost fighting capabilities, exchange information, benefit from experiences and expertise and enhance coordination between the participating countries,” said Saudi Arabia’s Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri.
Riyadh, an oil powerhouse in the region, has been dramatically increasing its military offensive in the conflict zone in recent years. The Sunni kingdom has pounded
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