Fri, Oct 22, 2010 | DebkaFile
Saudi and Egyptian Forces Carried Out Their First Ever Joint Exercise
Egypt and Saudi Arabia secretly carried out their first ever joint exercise this week with the participation of their special operations, marine, armored, missile, air and naval forces, debkafile’s military sources reveal.
Exercise Tabuk-2 was programmed to repulse a potential Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia by taking the battle over to Islamic Republican territory. Our sources note that a new chapter was written in Middle East military history this week: The two largest Arab nations deployed their military strength in position for combating the Iranian army and its Revolutionary Guards Corps and showed they were willing to counter Iranian belligerence by invading the aggressor.
Tabuk-2, which Riyadh and Cairo took care to keep under wraps, took place from Sunday, Oct. 17 to Wednesday Oct.21 under the command of Acting Saudi Defense and Aviation Minister, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, son of Crown Prince Sultan.
Khaled’s military record goes back to 1991 when he led the Saudi contingents taking part in the American invasion of Kuwait for ending the Iraqi takeover. In 2009, he commanded the Saudi expedition force which fought Iran-backed and funded Huthi rebels in northern Yemen.
This week’s joint exercise was conducted in Egypt’s northern desert up to its Mediterranean shoreline, an area whose terrain is similar to conditions on the Persian Gulf coast of eastern Saudi Arabia. Although Iran was not named, the two armies practiced responses to “enemy landings” in the kingdom’s eastern regions, where its oil fields, facilities and ports are situated.
The script provided for Egyptian forces to be rushed to the area under attack and join up with the Saudis to throw the invaders back while at the same time a joint Saudi-Egyptian commando force standing by in the northwest would make for the western coast of Iran and launch a counter-attack on Revolutionary Guards bases.
In the weeks leading up to Tabuk-2, large-scale Saudi marine, air force, tanks and artillery forces arrived in Egypt, their first landing on Egyptian soil.
According to debkafile’s military sources, this was the first maneuver in a series planned for the coming months in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Persian Gulf arenas. Riyadh and Cairo are firmly resolved to have their armies at peak war readiness at all times for going into battle in any security contingency that might arise.
Egypt gave Israel advance notice of the maneuver and met with its approval.