Accessibility links

Breaking News

Saudi Arabia, Allies Wrap Up Military Exercises

Smoke and fire billows following an aerial bombardment during the Northern Thunder military exercises in Hafr al-Batin, 500 kilometers north-east of the Saudi Capital Riyadh on March 10.

Troops from Saudi Arabia and allied countries have wrapped up major military exercises seen as a display of strength by the oil-rich kingdom.

According to Saudi Arabia's state news agency SPA, military forces from 20 countries took part in the final exercises of the North Thunder military maneuvers.

Saudi King Salman was joined by the leaders of the countries that participated in the drills, including Egypt, Djibouti, Kuwait, Mauritania, Qatar, Pakistan, Senegal, and Sudan.

Saudi media described the exercises -- which began in mid-February -- as the biggest in the region's history.

They focused on tackling terrorist groups and employing nonconventional combat methods, according to media reports.

In recent months, tensions have escalated between Saudi Arabia and regional rival Iran. Riyadh and Tehran back opposite sides in ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen.

Based on reporting by dpa