Israel has unveiled its first joint military exercise with Saudi Arabia as the US launches a massive naval exercise in the Middle East

2022-05-24 0 By

Photo by Xinhua (Xinhua) — A large-scale US-led naval exercise in the Middle East kicked off recently.Although Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the two sides conducted joint exercises publicly for the first time during the war games.The US-led International Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMX22), involving more than 60 countries, has begun, al Jazeera reported on February 2.It is the first time Israel has participated in such a US-led exercise, and the first joint exercise with Middle Eastern countries that do not have diplomatic relations, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman.The Israeli military said January 31 that some units will take part in exercises in the Red Sea with the U.S. Fifth Fleet.Tim Hawkins, a spokesman for the Fifth Fleet, told reporters February 2 that “Israel has been conducting exercises not only with us but with other partner countries in the region over the last several months.”The United States already conducted exercises with Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in the Red Sea last November.This is the first public military cooperation between the Arab states and Israel since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the first time the four countries have publicly acknowledged joint naval exercises.Saudi Arabia and Oman do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, and there is no public information that they have ever conducted joint military exercises with Israel.The Gulf states of Kuwait and Qatar, which do not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel, did not participate, according to information released by the U.S. Navy.The exercise, which began from Bahrain’s 5th Fleet on January 31, will cover the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and northern Indian Ocean.Charles Cooper, commander of THE US Navy’s Central Command, said the exercise was not only the largest naval exercise in the Middle East, but also the largest unmanned systems exercise in the world.Cooper said more than 80 unmanned systems from more than 10 participating countries took part in the exercise.(source: Edited by Yang Meng and coordinated by Wang Shaoyu