(Russia Today) Saudi Arabia signs up Egypt for ‘major military maneuver’

From: Biniam Tekle <biniamt_at_dehai.org_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:46:05 -0400


Saudi Arabia signs up Egypt for ‘major military maneuver’

Published time: April 15, 2015 01:40
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Saudi army artillery fire shells towards Houthi positions from the
Saudi border with Yemen April 13, 2015. (Reuters / Faisal Al Nasser)

Riyadh continues to strengthen ties with powerful regional armies amid
an ongoing air campaign against Houthi fighters in Yemen. It has
signed up Egypt for a joint planning of a “major military maneuver”
with other Gulf states in Saudi Arabia.

During the visit of the Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin
Salman to Cairo to discuss military campaign in Yemen, both countries
agreed to form a joint military committee to discuss
the“implementation of a major strategic maneuver in the territory of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, the Egyptian President's office said in
a statement. The statement gave no further details on the planned
military exercise.

Read moreUN sanctions Houthis in Yemen, ignores Russian calls for
all-inclusive arms embargo

Emphasizing that the security of the Gulf region and the Red Sea in
particular is a “red line”, Cairo has agreed to participate in a joint
Arab force which includes other Gulf states. Egyptian naval and air
forces are already involved in the operation in Yemen dubbed the
Determination Storm. Cairo said it would supply ground forces “if

The Saudis announced productive discussion on the “areas of
strengthening military cooperation” inside the coalition, also
affirming Egypt’s role as one of the main acting powers in the region.

A coalition of countries which includes, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE,
Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, and Sudan led by Saudi Arabia, have launched
airstrikes against the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen some three weeks

Read moreAirstrikes ‘not the answer’: Iran proposes peace plan for Yemen

The coalition airstrikes have inflicted heavy damage on civilian
infrastructure in Yemen. Over 1,000 people including many civilians
have been killed amid chaos on the ground. The predominantly Sunni
Muslim allies are doing their best to return the deposed Yemeni
president who fled the country back to power.

Tuesday’s decision by the UN Security Council to impose an arms
embargo on the Yemeni rebels was praised in Riyadh as a “victory for
the Yemen people.”However the Russian UN envoy, who abstained from the
vote, noted that while it had been passed, the draft still failed to
address all sides of the conflict “to swiftly halt fire and to begin
peace talks.”

Meanwhile Arab language channels, including Al Jazeera, reported that
Saudi military is boosting its troops presence along Yemeni border,
adjacent to the northern Yemeni province of Saada. It has increased
the count of tanks, artillery units and border guards that could
eventually be used to launch a ground assault on its neighbor.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia becomes world’s top arms importer

The world’s top arms importer Saudi Arabia is well equipped in case of
a ground operation. Last year, the country’s military spending
increased by 17 percent, according to the latest SIPRI report. The
theocratic monarchy also has the backing of the United States, who so
far stayed out of the conflict but has offered some help to its main
regional ally, including air intelligence collected by drones over

But the military intervention will never solve the Yemeni conflict,
insists another major regional power Iran, proposing a ceasefire and a
peaceful resolution to the crisis. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif, said that the peace plan involves a truce, humanitarian
aid, dialogue between the factions of the Yemeni conflict and “a
broad-based government, friendly to all its neighbors.”
Received on Tue Apr 14 2015 - 22:46:44 EDT

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