Amid Iran tensions, Saudi holds live-fire drills in Persian Gulf

As-Sadiq class missile boat Oqbah (525) of the Royal Saudi Navy participates in a photo exercise with ships from the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) during a bilateral exercise in the Persian Gulf. (US Navy)



Kingdom’s navy, air force, marines and ‘special units’ take part in war games to protect against ‘any possible aggression’

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia is conducting live-fire drills during war games underway in the Gulf, official media said on Tuesday, as tensions simmer with Iran.

Exercise Gulf Shield 1 has begun with naval ships, aircraft, marines and “special units,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

The manoeuvres are also taking place in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

Navy Brigadier Majid al-Qahtani said the exercises include “shooting of live ammunition” as part of the effort to improve combat readiness and protect the kingdom’s waters “against any possible aggression.”

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran — which lie on opposite sides of the Gulf — have no diplomatic relations and are at odds over regional issues including the wars in Syria and Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition, including naval forces, operates a blockade of Yemen as part of efforts to prevent weapons reaching Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies who overran much of Saudi Arabia’s neighbor.

Full article: Amid Iran tensions, Saudi holds live-fire drills in Persian Gulf (The Times of Israel)

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