Egypt, Saudi Arabia conclude joint military drills Tabuk 4

Ahmed Eleiba, Friday 19 Oct 2018

Egyptian and Saudi armed forces during a military drills in southern Egypt on Friday 19 October 2018. (Photo courtesy Egypt military spokesman Official Facebook Page)

The Egyptian and Saudi armed forces have concluded joint military drills in southern Egypt, Egypt's military spokesman said on Friday.

The 10-day Tabuk 4 exercises took place in Egypt’s southern military zone, headquartered in Assiut, and involved land and air forces. Inspectors from other Gulf Arab countries also took part.

The final phase of the military training exercises included a joint operation targeting a hideout of armed terrorists in a residential area, spokesman Tamer El-Refai added in a statement published on the military’s official Facebook page. The operation involved aerial reconnaissance, hunting terrorists through mountainous areas and using artilleries to target them.

Observers from Oman, Bahrain and the UAE took part in the exercises which also involved the use of combat grenades, practical and tactical training as well as demonstration of a number of emergency situations in order to "measure the ability of the forces to work together."

Egyptian and Saudi military commanders during the military drills in southern Egypt on Friday 19 October 2018. (Photo courtesy Egypt military spokesman Official Facebook Page)

Egyptian deputy defence minister attending the final phase of the drills conveyed the greetings of Egypt's Minister of Defence Mohamed Zaki to the participating forces, emphasizing the "depth of the Egyptian-Saudi military relations," while praising the level of coordination and cooperation between the forces to achieve all the objectives of the training "in light of the development of the size and nature of the terrorist operations and current challenges in the region."

Deputy Commander of Royal Saudi Land Forces Ahmed Abulla Al-Muqrin conveyed greetings from the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdel Aziz to the participating forces, adding the training is an "extension of success of previous Tabuk exercises in enhancing combat capability of the armed forces of both brotherly countries."

The Egyptian army earlier said that the drills aim to "develop and strengthen military cooperation between the Egyptian armed forces and their Saudi counterparts."

It is the latest in a series of exercises between the two countries as part of efforts to develop "joint action in light of current challenges in the region," according to Egypt's military.

Saudi Arabia, one of Egypt's closest regional allies, was one of a number of countries that took part last month in the Egyptian-US Bright Star military training exercises in Egypt, the largest of their kind in the region.

In August, Saudi Arabia took part in the Eagle Response 2018 trainings, alongside Egypt, the UAE, and the US, in Egyptian territorial waters in the Red Sea.

The two countries also held the Morgan joint naval exercises in 2015 in the Red Sea, the Faisal air military training exercise in September 2017, and the Gulf Shield drills in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

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