GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

Updated 09 March 2015

GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has stepped up efforts to unify naval operations and to set up a joint maritime security force to respond to the increased threats of conflict in the regional waters.
“A joint GCC naval exercise will run until March 12,” said a GCC statement released here.
“The joint GCC naval exercise is a right step toward an ambitious goal to achieve unified naval command system, in case of emergency situations,” said the statement.
The joint naval exercise began in the UAE on Monday with the participation of naval forces of the six Gulf states. The exercise will help raise the level of GCC’s preparedness, combat efficiency and cooperation.
The aim of the exercise is to unify the naval operations of the GCC states and to exchange expertise to make the GCC navy a deterrent force in a region.
Saudi Arabia is participating in the GCC exercise with a number of naval units, boats, special naval security units and Super Puma aircraft.
A local GCC official contacted by Arab News on Saturday could not provide details on the plan of setting up a strong GCC naval force.
On maritime threats, a report published recently said that “threats to regional waters over the past year have extended from the Strait of Hormuz further south to the Bab Al-Mandal gateway in Yemen and north to the Red Sea.”
The report has quoted Maj. Gen. Ahmed Yousif Al-Mulla, a Kuwaiti defense official, as saying that “the new force is expected to be formed within coming months.”
The creation of a GCC force will complement international efforts in the field of maritime security, especially at a time when radical groups and militants have become very active in the waters. These groups are also backed by some nation states.
At a recent meeting between GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif Al-Zayani and Adm. John Miller, commander of US Naval Central Command, concerns were raised about the maritime security.
The meeting reviewed bilateral relations and military cooperation between the GCC states and the US in addition to the issues of common concern such as territorial and maritime security.
The GCC has already set up the Gulf Shield Force, which played a major role in controlling riots in Bahrain.
The six-member bloc has also decided to create a common GCC police force and a common counterterrorism body.


Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

Updated 19 August 2019

Houthis threaten global energy security: Arab coalition

  • The Arab coalition denounced Saturday's attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant
  • The Yemeni militant attack sparked a fire but caused no casualties or disruption to production

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting to restore the internationally recognized government in Yemen on Monday denounced a Houthi attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant in Saudi Arabia.
The militants claimed 10 drones struck the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant near the border with the UAE on Saturday.
“The Houthi militia have endangered global energy security by targeting Shaybah oil field in Saudi Arabia,” spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.
The militants, who are based in Yemen and backed by Iran, have used drones laden with explosives to target infrastructure in the Kingdom.
Speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, Col. Al-Maliki said the that Houthi and Daesh militias are conducting simultaneous operations in Yemen, stressing that the Houthis, who sparked the Yemen war in 2014, continue to pose a clear threat in the southern Red Sea.
The coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 to support forces loyal to the internationally recognized government after it was driven from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis.