Military drill in Saudi ends with massive parade
The joint military exercises brought together 20 Arab and Islamic countries, aimed at encouraging armed cooperation
The North Thunder military drills that brought together armed forces from 20 Arab and Islamic countries concluded with a marching parade on Friday.
Saudi King Salman was in attendance as a show of force from all the armies marched by with soldiers, Humvees and tanks in toe in Hafr Al-Batin, Saudi Arabia.
The exercises were aimed at combatting guerrilla warfare, with the focus on countering tactics used by armed militias intervening in Arab states, such as Syria and Yemen.
“The Saudi government is aiming to send a message that the country, along with its Gulf neighbours, that the Arab world is capable of creating its own coalition of forces and don’t need to rely on foreign interventions,” Ibrahim al-Marei, a military analyst told Al Arabiya News Channel over the phone from the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in December 2015 that Saudi Arabia would lead efforts in the formation of a 34-nation military alliance of Muslim nations to fight “terrorism”.
Military experts speaking to Al Arabiya during the live coverage of the North Thunder drills reiterated that the aims of the exercises were to unify defensive strategies.
“The main aim of the coalition force and the strength showed in North Thunder was to unify what is called in military terms ‘Strategic defense.’ From Egypt’s side, we are a country that defends and does not attack.” Gen. Nasser Salem, Professor of strategic studies at Nasser Academy in Cairo told Al Arabiya News Channel