Provocative Saudi-Led Regional Military Exercises

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Provocative Saudi-Led Regional Military Exercises
by Stephen Lendman
Saudi Arabia’s support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, as part of Washington’s regional imperial agenda, threatens world peace and security.
According to the state-controlled Saudi Press Agency (SPA), 20 Middle East and North African countries will participate in Ra’ad Al-Shamal (Thunder of the North) military exercises.
They’re being held at King Khald Military City in Hafr Al-Batin in northern Saudi Arabia.
Participating countries include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Sudan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoros, Djibouti, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, and Mauritius – along with what Riyadh calls the Peninsula shield forces.
Not coincidentally timed with Riyadh’s hostile anti-Assad threats, the exercises are clearly provocative, SPA calling them “the largest of (their) kind in terms of the number of countries with the participation of 20 Arab, Islamic and friendly countries.” 
They involve “ground, air and naval forces,” sending a “clear message,” indicating Riyadh will “confront all challenges” – at a time the only regional threats are ones it created and fosters, allied with Washington’s imperial agenda and other rogue states supporting it.
Rejuvenated Syrian forces along with Russian air power are a formidable deterrent against any potential foreign invaders.
Government troops head closer to liberating Aleppo. They seized control over Raqqa province’s strategic heights. They control the Salamiyah-Raqqa road, leading directly to ISIS’ self-declared capital.
They cut its main supply route to Hama province. Their fighters were forced to flee toward the Raqqa/Hama border. Intense fighting rages. Tabaqah airbase in southwest Raqqa province is close to being liberated.
Controlling Aleppo and Raqqa provinces are key Syrian objectives. Achieving them will be major government victories, the most important ones since Obama’s war began. 
They’ll deal a significant defeat to Washington’s regional imperial agenda. Syria’s liberation, if achieved, could be a fatal one.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.