Saudi Arabia launches ‘Islamic military alliance’ to combat terrorism

16/12/2015
Saudi Arabia launches ‘Islamic military alliance’ to combat terrorism

Saudi Arabia's crown prince and defense minister Mohammed bin Salma

Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of an “Islamic military alliance” to combat global terrorism, an effort to respond to Western assertions that it could do more in the fight against the Islamic State and to solidify its claim to leadership of the Sunni world against Shiite Iran.

The 34-member group, to be headquartered in Riyadh, will coordinate mutual anti-terrorism assistance for members “all over the Islamic world,” Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said in a rare news conference Tuesday.

The Saudis did not release a membership list, but the alliance includes powerful military players such as Egypt and Pakistan, in addition to Turkey. The UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen, the Palestinians, Morocco, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Benin, Chad, Togo, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria are members.

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