Arab military chiefs draft joint force protocol
There are still, however, lingering disagreements on some details, including where to base the force’s headquarters
Army chiefs of staff from Arab League countries on Sunday drafted a protocol for a new joint force to intervene in Middle East conflict zones.
The force aims to collectively fight militants in the region, from ISIS in Iraq and Syria to Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
There are still, however, lingering disagreements on some details, including where to base the force’s headquarters, the Associated Press reported.
The plan, drafted at a gathering in Cairo, describes where and how the force would be put into action. Membership is “voluntary”, the draft says, and if only three of the members sign up, it’s enough to put the plan into action. A decision to intervene would be based on a request from a member state “facing threats.”
The idea of an Arab joint force has already been tested in the ongoing Saudi-led coalition’s air strikes against Houthis in Yemen. But observers say that in cases like Libya, consensus on a military intervention would be difficult since different Arab countries support rival parties in the North African nation.
Defense ministers of member states would run the force, with two-thirds of votes required to pass decisions. Military plans on engagements would be up to the member states’ military chiefs.
However, there was dissention over the force being headquartered in Cairo, the home of the Arab League.
In March, Arab leaders had announced during an Arab League summit in Egypt the aim to establish a joint military force to help maintain security within the region.