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Saudi Arabia puts on show with 'Abdullah's Shield'

The kingdom’s largest military exercise ever was a signal to both Washington and Tehran.
An explosion is seen during Saudi security forces' Abdullah's Sword military drill in Hafar Al-Batin, near the border with Kuwait April 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: MILITARY) - RTR3N4BI

Saudi Arabia staged its largest-ever military exercise this week to demonstrate its capability to defend itself against its northern Shiite neighbors. The guest list for the event was the most potent symbol of Saudi power, bringing together its Gulf allies with Pakistan and its nuclear shield.

According to the Saudi media, the exercise, code-named Abdullah’s Shield, involved 130,000 Saudi troops. The maneuvers were held in the kingdom’s Eastern province at King Khaled Military City, in Hafr al-Batin, facing Iran and Iraq, and were timed to coincide with the ninth anniversary of King Abdullah’s ascension to the throne.

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