Friday, March 11, 2016

Saudi 'Thunder of the North' exercise ends

Warplanes roared overhead, tanks rumbled across the desert and smoke filled the sky during the final stage of the region’s biggest ever military exercises.

Nearly 350,000 ground troops from 20 nations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including the UAE, took part in the last day of the so-called “Northern Thunder" manoeuvres. The exercises, which took place in the desert near to the Kuwaiti and Iraq borders, began 12 days ago.
Riyadh has adopted an assertive foreign policy since King Salman took the throne last year following the death of his half-brother King Abdullah. The kingdom is leading a mainly Arab coalition fighting rebels in Yemen, is taking part in US-led air strikes against ISIL and has offered to send special forces to fight in Syria.

“Northern Thunder" is also taking place after tensions escalated between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who back opposing sides in Syria and Yemen.
As usual the internet has been rife with rumor and suspicions. Many conspiracy theorists are supposing an invasion of Syria is a given. Others suspect Iran is the first on the UAE agenda.

This may have the potential to start a global conflict.
Troops from Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan were among those participating in the "Thunder of the North" exercise.