Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have launched two joint naval exercises to strengthen operational coordination as part of their efforts to protect maritime navigation and boost cooperativeness among forces.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency SPA, the "Jisr-20" and "Amwaj-4" exercises were launched simultaneously in the waters of the Arabian Gulf with the participation of Saudi naval and air forces as well as the Royal Bahrain Navy.
The maneuvers aim to help “counter-terrorist operations on oil installations, protect territorial waters in the Arabian Gulf, strengthen cooperation and exchange expertise between the Saudi armed forces and their Bahraini counterparts.”
They also come at a time of tension in the region. Washington and Gulf capitals, especially Riyadh, accuse Tehran of targeting oil ships and facilities and threatening maritime navigation.
Earlier this week, at the request of the Saudi Armed Forces, the Gulf Cooperation Council Chiefs of Staff met in Riyadh for the fourth extraordinary meeting of the GCC Supreme Military Committee to exchange views on the current regional threats and the means to achieve greater GCC military coordination.
In a final statement, the senior military officers expressed the readiness of the armed forces of all GCC countries to confront and deal with any threats or terrorist attacks.
They also stressed that any attack against any of the GCC states would be considered an attack on the entire Gulf and underlined the importance to commit to promoting collective security within the GCC.