Saudi regime begins joint drill with France amid war on Yemen
Iran Press TV
Tue Oct 3, 2017 06:16PM
Saudi Arabia and France have begun a joint military exercise in the southwest of the kingdom. The drill takes place at a time that a deadly campaign led by the regime in Riyadh keeps claiming more lives in the impoverished Yemen.
Saudi Arabia's official SPA agency said on its Arabic website on Tuesday that the joint drill began earlier in the day in the city of Ta'if in the southwestern Saudi province of Mecca.
It said the exercise, involving an unspecified number of ground troops from the two countries, would focus on battles in mountainous regions and on how to back ground operations with proper air cover.
The SPA statement said the drill was a routine part of military cooperation between France and Saudi Arabia.
Since March 2015, the Saudi regime has been engaged in a protracted war it has imposed on Yemen.
More than 10,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the deadly campaign.
In the initial days of the campaign, Riyadh said its objective was to reinstate Yemen's ousted president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The mission has not been accomplished.
France and other Western governments have tacitly supported Saudi Arabia's military operation in Yemen while countries such as the United States have openly provided Riyadh with intelligence and logistic support.
The joint drill between Saudi Arabia and France is an apparent bid to empower the Saudis in battles in mountainous regions of northern Yemen.
France has also been a main supplier of weaponry to Saudi Arabia. The two countries have signed major arms deals over the past years.
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