RIYADH – Saudi Arabia has announced a 34-country Islamic military alliance to combat all such organizations which aim at terrorizing the innocent, spreading killing and corruption in the world.
The countries participating in the alliance along with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are: Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, Palestine, Comoros, Qatar, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Yemen.
According to the statement “The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to co-ordinate and support military operations.”
The Saudi government added that more than a dozen other Islamic countries have expressed support for the military alliance, including Indonesia.
Iran was absent from the states named as participants by Saudi Arabia. Proxy conflicts between the two regional powers are ongoing in both Syria and Yemen.
In a rare press conference, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman, said that the campaign would “coordinate” efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan, but offered few concrete indications of how military efforts might proceed.
He said, “Currently, every Muslim country is fighting terrorism individually, coordinating efforts are very important.”
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors have been locked in nine months of warfare with Iran-allied rebels in neighboring Yemen, launching hundreds of airstrikes there.