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Iran unfazed by Saudi flexing in Persian Gulf

Saudi Arabia's large-scale military exercises may be cause for some concern in Iran, but Saudi capabilities in the Persian Gulf can't compare to those of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Saudi warships are seen during “Gulf Shield 1” exercise by members of Royal Saudi Navy, east of Saudi Arabia, October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser  - RTSRHDY

The Saudi armed forces began extensive military exercises in the Persian Gulf region in early October. According to Rear Adm. Majed bin Hazza'a Al-Qahtani, the commander in charge of the drills, the aim of the “Gulf Shield 1” exercises that took place in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman was to “increase the combat readiness of the marine forces and special security forces of Saudi Arabia for aerial and naval combat, bomb dispersal, cyberattacks and other possible military actions against Saudi Arabia.”

The entire Saudi fleet in the Persian Gulf, including frigates, logistical vessels, amphibious ships, air-sea units, special forces, marine and anti-mine units, took part in the exercise, which was the first Saudi Arabia had conducted on such a scale. Riyadh showcased all of its capabilities in Gulf Shield 1, with Western naval forces based in the region, which are in charge of safeguarding Saudi waters in the Red Sea, taking part.

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