Arab military exercises are not muscle-flexing

Hashim Abdo Hashim
Alriyadh

The military exercises being conducted
by 20 Islamic countries in Saudi Arabia
are not a demonstration of muscleflexing,
but represent a common will to
confront perceived threats by Iran and
Russia, says a Saudi columnist. Hashim
Abdo Hashim notes that the largest
military manoeuvres in the region’s
history follow Russia’s military
involvement in Syria, unclear policy
positions by the US and its Western
allies, and continued Iranian threats against the Arab countries. In an article published in
the Saudi Arabic language daily Alriyadh, he notes that Russian and Iranian behaviour in
the region “constitutes a serious provocation” to Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries.
“Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the option to wait until enemy armies march in or their
warplanes violate its airspace at a time when terrorists are spreading in the Kingdom,” he
says. “The exercises in the north of the country are intended to demonstrate the capability
of Saudi Arabia and its allies and deter any aggression. These exercises are definitely not
meant as muscle-flexing, but as an expression of unity and shared will to defend ourselves,
protect our land and bolster our forces. We people of this region have faith in our soldiers
to protect our nations and stop our enemies whether they are inside or outside our region.”


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