Saudi Arabia to host ‘largest’ military exercises in region, 20 states invited

Monday, February 15, 2016
By Paul Martin

RT.com
15 Feb, 2016

Soldiers from 20 countries are to gather in Saudi Arabia for massive military exercises lasting 18 days, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. It comes as Riyadh has openly warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that he will be toppled.

The Saudi state agency made the announcement on Sunday, adding that participating troops will begin arriving in “the next few hours.”

The oil-rich nation described the exercises as “the largest and most important” military drills in the region’s history.

The so-called “Northern Thunder” exercise will take place in the north of the country and will include air, sea and land forces. SPA said that it will show that Riyadh and its allies “stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region.”

Among the participants will be Arab and African countries. The US and other Western powers have not been invited.

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